News From Mayor Greimel
|Mayor Greimel on Dave LewAllen's Podcast
Check out today's podcast with Dave LewAllen of WXYZ as we discussed Oakland County, Michigan Government and the City of Pontiac's partnership that will see up to 600 county employees moved into a refurbished office building in the heart of downtown Pontiac, and the plan to reopen Saginaw Street.We also discussed the transformative nature of this deal for the city and other steps taken to improve the quality of life for residents.
City of Pontiac Newsletter
September 18, 2023
Our administration has been busy improving customer service, creating new programs and signature events and making great progress in the areas of home repairs and business development. We have so much news and information to share, we began issuing a quarterly newsletter to distribute to Pontiac residents.
INSIDE SPOTLIGHT ON PONTIAC
The city's newsletter, Spotlight on Pontiac, is filled with information from city departments and divisions that residents will find extremely useful--specifically Community Development, DPW, Grants and Philanthropy, Parks, Human Resources, Youth Recreation, Senior Centers, and Treasury.
Each issue contains several pages devoted to news, updates, links to important documents on the city's website and a variety of ways residents can contact city departments (see sample page below). Also included is a district-specific message from City Council members and information from the City Clerk.
ACCESSIBLE ONLINE AND IN PRINT
We want everyone to have access to the newsletter because it is packed with important news that concerns you! If you have not received your district-specific newsletter, we have posted them on the city's website on each council representative's page. You may also access them below:
Click here to view video example
In addition, printed copies are available at the senior centers and City Hall while supplies last. If you have trouble accessing the links above, please contact our Webmaster Ken Martin at (248) 758-3101 or email him at: email@example.com.
LOCALLY PRINTED AND DISTRIBUTED
Spotlight on Pontiac is printed by a local business that conducts the design, print, assembling, and mailing process in collaboration with our Communications Department. Production of this particular type of city-wide publication is important for the city and it is definitely a work in process. As with any new program, there are minor issues that we are addressing to assure timely and accurate delivery.
The distribution and mailing are handled by the printer (who has the staff and expertise to do so) and mail delivery is managed by the United States Postal Service. Based on feedback we have received after distributing more than 22,000 copies in June and again in September, the number of homes that reported not receiving a newsletter, or received the wrong district copy, is minimal. Rest assured, we are working to improve the process to eliminate any misdirected copies.
This publication is an extremely valuable resource; therefore, we have initiated an RFQ process to select a company that will handle the process for a three-year term moving forward. We invite any interested business to click on the link here to participate in the bidding process before the submission deadline of October 6, 2023 at 2 p.m.
SIGN UP FOR THE NEWSLETTER AND UPDATES
We need your help in spreading the word to others so they too can receive news and updates from the City. Please share this QR code or the following link with them so they can sign up: https://lp.constantcontactpages.com/su/k7mZsau.
You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and type in the subject line: Sign me up for the Newsletter. Make sure you provide your complete mailing address, zip code and phone contact (in case we need to follow up).
We want to remind everyone that residents, businesses, agencies and nonprofit organizations can post information promoting public events in Pontiac on the city's Community Calendar! Those interested may submit a calendar item through the online calendar submission form, which is reviewed by the Communications Division. Qualified events:
You may submit events to: https://pontiac.mi.us/Calendar_Policy.php. Organizations are also welcome to send their camera-ready jpeg or png flyer to email@example.com for possible posting on the city's digital platforms. As with the calendar submissions, the Communications team reserves the right to not publish based on the parameters of the event. We hope that you will take advantage of this opportunity to increase the reach of your event marketing.
We thank you for your continued collaboration and look forward to highlighting even more progress in future issues of Spotlight on Pontiac.
Pontiac Festival of the Arts
|Unauthorized Event at Local Park Cancelled
July 14, 2023
The “Battle of I-75” event scheduled to take place at Oakland Park on July 14 and 15 has been canceled. All vendors and event participants were asked to leave Oakland Park by the Oakland County Sheriff's Office. We appreciate all cooperation throughout this process.
The City of Pontiac has been working hard to take care of our parks so that our citizens can enjoy themselves all summer long. We work closely with organizations and vendors to ensure events are scheduled and managed with regard to the health and safety of attendees. On Friday, the City became aware of an unauthorized event occurring at Oakland Park that was shut down immediately.
This 3-on-3 basketball event was held last year at an area park with ZERO coordination with the City. The event was:
The organizer was informed last summer that all promoters must apply to the City, consult with public safety and follow the same protocols as any other promoter requesting to use taxpayer-funded city parks.
In recent weeks, city staff repeatedly reminded the organizer of the need to obtain a permit and what was required to do so. The organizer did not return calls, was a no-show for a meeting last week, and repeatedly missed deadlines. When the organizer failed to submit needed documentation by today’s 1 p.m. deadline, he was informed that the event would not move forward.
The organizer has been told for nearly a year what he had to do, and he failed to do it. As a result of his not complying with the protocols that all Pontiac residents are required to follow, the city had no choice but to shut the activity down. We have an obligation to our residents, and we hope that next year this event will be able to move forward.
|Update on Pontiac Home Repair Program
June 27, 2023
Good afternoon Pontiac!
Let me first thank everyone who called or came in person to schedule an application review appointment for the Pontiac Home Repair Program (PHRP). When we developed the program earlier this year, we knew it would provide much-needed assistance to homeowners having difficulty paying for critical home renovations.
The goal was to distribute more than $3 million in grants over a three-year period, with each annual round providing up to $25,000 to at least 44 approved applicants. When we opened the window to set appointments for application reviews, the community response was so overwhelming, we exceeded the requisite number of applicants for the first round!
TOWN HALLS HELD ON PHRP
Between May 22 and June 2, employees in the Grants and Philanthropy Division held numerous public meetings across the City to inform residents of the program requirements. The PHRP team also answered questions via phone and email, so that residents would know what to expect, and also what to bring, for their application review appointment.
The PHRP began scheduling appointments on June 21, and the response was as follows:
• the hotline received 1,982 calls (1,633 of that total were received on June 21)
• 600 voicemails were received on June 21
• 286 application appointments were set for June 26 to August 31
• appointments were set for every hour, Monday through Thursday, for 10 weeks
Within hours of taking calls for appointments—which, as communicated to the community over the past couple of months, were set on a first-come, first-served basis—the City deemed it necessary to close the first round of applications. Due to the volume of respondents, funding was potentially at capacity for approved applications. It was also necessary for the entire team to contact each caller and provide information on the status of their inquiry. Once each applicant attends their assigned appointment:
• homeowners who are deemed eligible to proceed (from a documentation standpoint), will be sent a notice from the housing inspector to schedule an inspection. After the home is inspected, and deemed eligible for work, the homeowner will receive final approval and the approved repairs for their homes will be sent to the contractors to bid on the work.
• homeowners deemed ineligible (ineligible due to documentation/income requirements not being met or ineligible due to the condition of their homes) will be notified via letter in the mail specifying why they were denied.
The tremendous response from the community shows just how valuable this program is and the extent of the financial need in the City to complete critical home repairs. We understand the disappointment that some homeowners may feel if they are unable to participate in the current home improvement round. However, the team is working diligently to ensure that we assess, review and process all applications in a timely manner to determine the full scope of funding in an effort to further the program’s reach. We are also working closely with City Council to determine the appropriate path to allocating more financial assistance, sooner rather than later. There will be at least one additional round in the future.
We will update you on the Pontiac Home Repair Program via all of the city's platforms once details of the next round are finalized.
|Proposed Oakland County Office Site in Pontiac
May 26, 2023
Good afternoon Pontiac!
There has been quite a bit of buzz this week about Oakland County's proposed purchase of two privately-owned downtown office towers. Development of this site as a County hub, in downtown Pontiac, would revitalize the area's economy by bringing hundreds of workers into the heart of our city.DETAILS OF THE PROPOSED PURCHASE
It is important to note, this project is expected to bring 400-600 employees to the workspace that Oakland County envisions. Not only would this bring critical County services and programs closer to Pontiac residents, it would also return the County's presence to the heart of the city where it was originally situated before being moved to the border with Waterford 60 years ago.
Earlier this month, the County was authorized by the Oakland County Board of Commissioners' Economic Development and Infrastructure Committee to enter into a purchase agreement to:
The Phoenix Center Parking Garage is owned by the City of Pontiac and leased to the owner of Ottawa Tower and the former GM Building. That lease for the Parking Garage was entered into by the City's previous administration for a period of 99 years, with stipulations that the "Lessee" would maintain the facility and make structural improvements. Since that time, agreed-upon maintenance and repairs have not been made and the facility is in disrepair and not widely used.
The proposal by the County to purchase the office towers has never included purchase of the Phoenix Center. Any decision made with regard to refurbishing the Parking Garage, or potentially demolishing it, would be made by the City at a future date and would require approval by the Pontiac City Council.
TRANSFORMATIONAL OPPORTUNITY FOR PONTIAC
This proposed development would exponentially benefit Pontiac businesses and residents by bringing downtown more office workers who will undoubtedly frequent restaurants and retail establishments. It would correct a number of negatives--economic and logistic--that occurred when the County moved its headquarters away from Downtown Pontiac decades ago. It also offers the opportunity to find a permanent solution to the decaying state of the Phoenix Center while potentially restoring public performance space in the heart of our downtown.
While we look forward to this phenomenal collaboration, there are a few variables that have to be determined. The County is currently in a 60-day due diligence period as details of the property are investigated, and funding from the state has yet to be determined. However, if all critical elements ultimately align, and the County is successful in acquiring the properties, we will welcome County employees with open arms back to Downtown Pontiac, which has always been the heart of Oakland County!
|Update on Improvments to the Robert Bowens and Ruth Peterson Centers
May 31, 2023
Good afternoon Pontiac!
We are committed to improving the quality of programs and facilities that help our seniors stay healthy--mentally and physically--so they may continue to thrive in Pontiac. Our senior population has been very busy this May and as this year's Senior Awareness Month comes to a close, we wanted to give you an update on the progress of renovations underway at the Ruth Peterson Senior Center and the Robert Bowens Senior Center.
GRANT FUNDING FOR RENOVATIONS
In March, we attended a press conference convened by Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter, who announced the county received $5 million in American Recovery Plan Act (ARPA) funds to support 29 senior centers. Pontiac is receiving $295,000 to implement improvements at both facilities, which will greatly improve senior engagement at those locations.
Renovations will be conducted in two phases. The City of Pontiac initiated a thorough, competitive bid process to choose a firm that would make the repairs and improvements for phase 1. Once that review was completed, Pontiac Drywall Systems Inc. (PDSI)--which has extensive expertise in drywall, carpentry, office building renovation, HUD housing, general trade work, and is a Pontiac-based company--was selected to make the repairs for Phase I.
PHASE I RENOVATIONS:
• Bathroom renovations- upgraded to ADA Compliance
• Interior wall construction
• Improvements to facility entrances
• Installation of new ramps
• New security system
• Pouring of concrete for outdoor ramps and indoor floor slabs
• Rough framing for both centers
• Installation of new plumbing and electrical
Restrooms under renovation in both centers are limited to use by program and event participants until they are completed. Employees at both sites are monitoring access and ease of use daily. As construction continues, some entrances will be restricted as exterior ADA-compliant ramps are poured and doors are replaced
PHASE II RENOVATIONS:
The city is seeking funding for additional renovations for Phase II, which will also follow a competitive bid process. Those additional upgrades include (but are not limited to):
• Flooring and carpet replacement
• IT Infrastructure and computers
• Interior wall construction
• Kitchen Improvements
• Replacement of window blinds
• Lighting Upgrades
The newest grant award will be announced by the funder publicly in June.
ANTICIPATED DATE OF COMPLETION
We are extremely excited about the renovations underway and understand that any construction can be a nuisance, especially to our older population. Our Department of Public Works (DPW) Division is closely monitoring the work and has been informed we should expect the work to be completed by end of June, barring any unforeseen setbacks with supplies or weather. If you have specific questions about the project, you may contact the Engineering Division at (248) 758-3616.
Thank you so much for your patience as we continue to improve the Ruth Peterson and Robert Bowens centers. We want our seniors to have the high-quality recreation centers that they deserve to enjoy now and well into the future.
|FY 2023-2024 Budget Meetings Begin Today!
Good afternoon Pontiac!
It is that time of year again when the entire Administration prepares to discuss our proposed budget for the upcoming 2023-2024 fiscal year. This is the second budget presentation for my administration in 12 months. While the process can be long and arduous, we are extremely enthusiastic about the tremendous gains made during our first year in office. In the last year, we continued a critical review of our finances, fees and procedures in an effort to eliminate severe structural deficits and implement sound fiscal policies. Pontiac is on a path of progress and promise!
We look forward to thoroughly explaining our projections before council and the public to outline our mission of making a positive impact on the City and our citizens.
SCHEDULE OF BUDGET PRESENTATIONS
Special Meeting - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Special Meeting - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Special Meeting - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Special Meeting - 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Public Hearing on Proposed Budget and Fee Schedule - 6 p.m.
First Reading of 2023-2024 Fiscal Year Budget Ordinance - 6 p.m.
Second Reading of 2023-2024 Fiscal Year Budget Ordinance - 6 p.m.
In late March, 2023, we submitted our annual Audit report to the state. The information submitted was thorough and transparent, and as you review the details, you will see we are focused on rebuilding. The City has brought back in‐house certain city services so we can wield more “direct control” of our ability to deliver services instead of continuing the previous administrations actions of privatizing services.
This is an exciting time for the city as we present our vision for moving Pontiac forward. The proposed budget reflects our commitment to several priorities, including:
We welcome the opportunity to discuss our fiscal forecast and proposals to Council members and the public in detail, as we continue to work on behalf of our residents.
ZONING ORDINANCE FOR ADULT USE MARIHUANA PASSES IN PONTIAC
Business owners interested in applying for a license can begin July 5th
|Commencement of Sidewalk Trip Hazard Elimination Project
Good Afternoon Pontiac!
We are committed to helping Pontiac homeowners maintain their property at mandated levels of safety, and, in recent weeks, we kicked off efforts to review and repair sidewalks that pose a problem for pedestrians.
The City of Pontiac has hired a contractor who will conduct Sidewalk Joint Displacement Cutting where there is a tripping hazard adjacent to or near a homeowner's property. Affected homeowners were recently notified that the contractor will soon begin work in their area. If it is determined that the trip hazard is too large to remove by displacement cutting, the sidewalk will be scheduled for replacement at a later date.
Once the area posing a trip hazard is repaired/replaced, the contractor will continue moving down the sidewalk to repair nearby trip hazards. When that area of sidewalk has been upgraded, it will be opened to pedestrians. We anticipate that work on any specific portion of sidewalk may take up to a week to be completed.
It is important to note that, under our city's longstanding ordinance, homeowners are responsible for maintaining the sidewalk adjacent to their property. However, this spring's targeted work is being done with Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds in income-eligible areas as a benefit to our residents. You can find a map below that identifies the neighborhoods that will benefit from this program this year. Those areas are: Chamberlain Street, Region 3, Region 5, Region 10 and Region 15* (*Contractor will start improvement work in Region 15 until funding is exhausted).
If you happen to encounter these work zones, please consider:
• pedestrians are urged to use extreme caution in the areas under construction
• access to the homes will be maintained throughout construction
This construction will be completed as quickly as possible, and we apologize for the inconvenience this may cause. Your patience as we continue to beautify our neighborhoods is greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or concerns, we ask that you contact the City of Pontiac Engineering Division at (248) 758-3616. With your help and cooperation, this project will progress to a timely completion.
Click here to download a map of the streets included in the sidewalk repair program
Click here for a list of streets included in the sidewalk repair program
|Update on Efforts to Repair Potholes
Southeast Michigan is experiencing another round of snow this weekend; but so far, it doesn’t appear to be as severe as recent storms. Nonetheless, the extreme fluctuations in temperatures and conditions are wreaking havoc on our roads, producing more potholes.
Our Department of Public Works (DPW) crews patch potholes year-round with two exceptions:
Since December 2022, DPW patching crews have put down a total of 143.25 tons (286,500 pounds) of cold patch material. It’s shoveled into the hole and pressed into place by passing vehicles. Under normal circumstances, this filling will stay in place in the hole until that section of concrete is permanently replaced.However, Michigan winters are rarely normal! The freeze/thaw cycles we experience lead to “heaving” of the road surface. This causes the patch material to lift out of the cavity, break up, and be subsequently carried away when roads are shoveled. This reopens the pothole.
~ Stay alert and avoid distractions.
Potholes are a by-product of Michigan weather and definitely frustrating to all of us as drivers. DPW crews are doing their best to fill them as fast as possible and as they come to our attention. If you know of a pothole that is a traffic hazard, report it by calling (248) 758-3600 or log on to www.pontiac.mi.us/potholes.
DTE UPDATE - FEBRUARY 26, 2023
Thank you for your continued patience. Here is your 2/26 morning update.
Field Crews Continue to Work Around the Clock
|Update on Power Outages and Area Warming Centers
Pontiac Department of Public Works (DPW) Storm Response
Update on Power Outages
The Oakland County Office of Emergency Management also has information on additional centers in the area. Click here to view those locations if you or someone you know needs to warm up.
As DTE crews continue working to restore power, we urge you to continue taking precautions:
Again, we want you to be safe, stay warm and know that our DPW crews are working closely with DTE to make sure its crews are able to travel throughout the city, unencumbered, so they can get power restored to all homes as soon as possible.
|Selection of Site for Youth Recreation Program
The City of Pontiac is moving forward with the acquisition of the McCarroll School site for a community center that will house the City’s youth recreation programming.
Click here to read the entire article