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MIC Quarterly Meeting Minutes March 2024

Michigan Infrastructure Council 

Q1 Meeting March 14, 2024

Meeting held at

7285 Parsons Dr, Dimondale, MI 48821 (Treasury Operations Center) and electronically using TEAMs.

Meeting Minutes

  1. Call to Order
    1. Chairperson, Palencia Mobley called the meeting to order at 1:08pm
  2. Roll Call
    1. Let the record show that seven (7) voting members and six (6) non-voting members were present. A quorum was established.
  3. Public Comments
    1. No public comment
  4. Approval of Meeting Agenda – March 14, 2024
    1. Motion by Marco Bruzzano to approve meeting agenda.
      1. Motion supported by Kathleen Lomako
      2. Motion carried without dissent.
  5. Approval of Minutes – December 7, 2023
    1. Motion by Kathleen Lomako to approve the minutes as presented for meeting held on December 7, 2023.
      1. Motion supported by Marco Bruzzano
      2. Motion carried without dissent.
  6. MIC Member Update
    1. Charles Marshall – Appointed by the Speaker of the House
      1. Charles Marshall introduced himself to the council and provided information on his professional background.
      2. Ryan Laruwe also welcomed Doug Matthews, appointed to the council by the Senate Majority Leader. Doug Matthews introduced himself to the council and provided information on his professional background.
  7. MIC Program Updates
    1. Erin Kuhn – AM Champions
      1. Erin Kuhn reported that this is the largest class of asset management champions to date with 142 participants. She reported on the upcoming asset management champion webinar to be delivered on March 20 and the next webinar in April.
    2. Beverly Watts – MIC Project Portal
      1. Beverly Watts reported the portal was soft launched last week to focus on integrating previous users. The hard launch is anticipated for April/May of 2024 for future users.
    3. Kathleen Lomako – 30-Year Integrated Infrastructure Strategy
      1. Kathleen Lomako reminded the committee that the actions were approved at the last meeting and were then moved forward on developing the narrative of the strategy. She highlighted the work of the MIC staff on their work on the Strategy and explained the handouts provided to the council during the meeting. She invited the council members to submit comments to Nathan Hamilton or Emilee Madison while reviewing the final draft. She also spoke to the proposed committee restructure and how this will support the 30-year strategy implementation.
          1. Sue McCormick noted that the acknowledgment list at the beginning is an impediment to reaching the Strategy Actions due to its length.
          2. Nathan Hamilton informed the council that the draft provided has not gone to graphics yet and will look different once refined.
          3. Palencia Mobley asked if anyone has comments on the 30 years, please return those to staff within the next two weeks by March 28
    4. MIC Communications Committee Update
      1. Nathan Hamilton reported that as a part of the MIC MOU with MIO, MIC has been working with Moment strategies for a plan for our communications. The communications committee met in February and discussed this plan. Some notable items from this include the 30-year strategy rollout with a press release, letter to stakeholders and outreach campaign. Next, the poral 2.0 launch and the outreach to get users integrated to the system. There will also be work to engage elected officials through education and citizen educational guides. Finally, they are updating some MIC materials like the leave behinds, branding refresh and website updates.
        1. Palencia Mobley added to the update by speaking on the importance of rate education and engaging citizens in our outreach. This will be an opportunity to have a strong public relations presence and will be key to accomplishing out goals.
        2. Kathleen Lomako would like to note that the communications committee needs to spend more time on messaging. She noted how ambitious the plan is and the limited staffing capabilities.
          1. Nathan Hamilton noted that Moment Strategies is very involved in creating and implementing the communications plan.
          2. Kathleen also asked about the leave behinds for the 30-year strategy.
          3. Nathan Hamilton and Palencia Mobley stated that they are looking into various ways to promote the strategy and materials for various audiences. 
        3. Sue McCormick would like to suggest that citizen informational guides not go out with tax notices or utility bills because it is very complicated. So, we will need to find effective ways to get the information to citizens.
          1. Kathleen Lomako also noted that it is important to make sure this gets out in an intentional way.
        4. Beverly Watts would like to remind everyone to review their bio and headshot on the website and if they need edits to reach out to Nathan Hamilton and Emilee Madison.
          1. Ryan Laruwe and Nathan Hamilton would like to notify the council that at the June Meeting we are looking to get professional headshots for all council members for the website.
          2. Palencia Mobley asked the council to reach out to Nathan or Emilee by May 1 of any changes.
  8. Executive Director Report
    1. MIC/MIO Update Technical Assistance Center
      1. Ryan Laruwe reported they were able to move the funding to a work project fund at the end of 2023 to provide a longer runway to spend the funds. Ryan stated he has been working with the Technical Assistance Center on ways to assist all communities that seek assistance from TAC. They have been exploring providing capitol planning and asset management resources so communities that are not grant ready are in a better place to pursue grants in the future. Another issue that has been raised is the struggles with grant management post receiving a grant. Ryan is working with TAC to expand pre and post grant services offered to communities.
        1. Comments and Questions
          1. Palencia Mobley recommended we work on prequalifying vendors for communities to work with. There would need to be pre-screening conversations with communities to know what their needs are. She would also like to recommend the MIC work with LEO/MML on the Michigan Navigator resource for grant availability to make sure we’re all aligned in our efforts.
    2. MIC Committee Update
      1. Ryan Laruwe presented the proposed new committee structure and discussed the purview of each committee. The new proposed committees would be administration & communications; nominations; technology programs advisory; asset management education; rates, finance, and funding; and sustainability.
        1. Comments and Questions
          1. Ratemaking Committee
            1.  Palencia Mobley spoke to the water perspective and the complexities of ratemaking in regard to water rates.
            2. Doug Matthews stated that in regard to the issues he’s seen in ratemaking the importance of asset management is apparent.
            3. Sue McCormick highlighted the importance both asset management practices and capitol planning has on communities. She stated she sees many communities lacking structure in capital planning.
            4. Marco Bruzzano stated that he supports the creation of the ratemaking committee and would like to know ideas on what the committee plans to do.
              1. Ryan Laruwe stated that he plans to work with external stakeholders from academic agencies or other organizations who already have ratemaking programs in place to expand upon those.
            5. Palencia Mobley spoke on the importance of low-income programming and education to citizens.
          2. Sustainability
            1. Kathleen Lomako would like to note the contentious phrasing of “responsible land use” and see if we can rephrase the purview of that committee to have less contentious language.
            2.  Sue McCormick would like us to avoid using the word conservation and use less controversial terms like stewardship, etc.
            3. Doug Matthews would like to note that when you start mentioning usage of public lands it is important to think about what public groups will be impacted or could be upset about it.
          3. Ryan Laruwe stated that anyone who would like to join the various committees can reach out to one of the Staff members to be placed, he would like to note the council member names listed on the attachment in the packet are suggestions.
  9. New Business – let the record note, this was moved up in agenda so all voting members present could participate.
    1. WAMC Strategic Planning Funding
      1. Discussion
        1. Ryan Laruwe provided background on the resolution and how the strategic planning session will be held.
        2. Sue McCormick spoke on the resolution, she stated they have been in discussion of doing this since the creation of WAMC, so this funding is essential to help WAMC’s efforts.
        3. Ryan Laruwe stated post strategic planning session it will be an opportunity for MIC to allocate funding for WAMC to meet specific programming goals.
      2. Questions
        1. No Questions at this time
      3. Approval of Funding for Water Asset Management Council Strategic Planning [2024-01]
        1. Motion by Erin Kuhn to adopt Resolution 2024-01
        2. Motion supported by Marco Bruzzano
        3. Motion carried without dissent.
  10. Executive Directors Report Continued
    1. MIC Work Plan
      1. Ryan Laruwe reported updates to the 2024 FY work plan.
        1. Kathleen Lomako asked when will the funds need to be figured out to ensure the budget is not reduced for next FY.
        2. Ryan Laruwe stated that in the next few months a plan will need to be made to ensure we allocate our FY budget.
        3. Next, Ryan gave updates on professional development fund allocation for Emilee Madison and Nathan Hamilton. Emilee will be starting a data analytics bootcamp soon to help with our dashboard goals.
      2. SADA Systems – Free Pilot CMMS Systems
        1. Ryan reported that as a part of the Project Portal Contract were able to offer a free 6-month pilot of SADA’s ATOM software. This will allow for the development of support for pilot communities from SADA and explore opportunities to integrate with Project Portal. Ryan asked if any council members knew of communities that would benefit from the program to reach out to Ryan so they can be included.
          1. Palencia Mobley asked if a presentation and demonstration could be offered for council members who are interested.
          2. Ryan stated that he would be able to send out something for that.
          3. Sue McCormick raised a concern about it only being a 6-month trial and what will the communities be left with afterwards.
          4. Palencia talked about how collective purchasing is something we need to explore in the future.
          5. Ryan stated if anyone was interested in being involved in this pilot program to reach out to Ryan.
      3. Portal Soft Launch
        1. Ryan reported that they are working with groups to get some projects in the portal for the official launch later this year. He stated he is working with DTE and consumers to start getting their projects in there as well.
  11. MIC Staff Update
    1. Newsletters
      1. Nathan Hamilton provided an overview for new members of what the newsletter is and provided information on the newsletter changes that include the new format being bimonthly and a new section for council shoutouts.
    2. Joint Conference & Joint Meeting
      1. Nathan Hamilton reported that the conference committee meeting has continued to meet and plan. The dates will be August 13th through August 14 for a day and a half conference. The venue at the L.V. Eberhard Center at Grand Valley State University. The name of the conference will be the Integrated Infrastructure Conference with a theme of “Creating a culture of asset management for a brighter future.” Speakers and presenters are being planned at this time and more information to come. Nathan stated that if council members have any conference content ideas to reach out to staff within the next week or so. The joint MIC/TAMC/WAMC meeting will be held on August 12 at the Holiday Inn and will include council updates and a dinner. Our Q3 meeting is being planned to be held on August 14 after the close of the conference from 2:00-4:00pm.
      2. Ryan asked for members to rsvp so MIC can get the hotel rooms booked for the council members so members will not have to go through the reimbursement process.
  12. Old Business
    1. There is no old business at this time.
  13. Council Reports
    1. Water Asset Management Council
      1. Sue McCormick reported that officers were elected, strategic planning has started to begin the RFP process, reviewing data from their first round of surveying and should have a report on it shortly. She stated they have been working with EGLE to create a new survey for small communities and unfortunately, they don’t have the data storage systems in place to do so. So, they will need to continue using the survey monkey for collections of data.
        1. Ryan highlighted upcoming presentations WAMC will be joining him on at the APWA Conference located at the Boyne Mountain Resort in May 2024.
      2. Transportation Asset Management Council
        1. Bradley Sharlow reported that the draft annual report is being worked on, set to be approved at the April meeting then it will go to the legislature. They approved $317, 000 for local agencies for nonfederal aid data collection in communities who historically have struggled to collect data. They are sending out letters to those agencies. They also have two policies that have been updated and approved, one for data collection for more specifics on funding and a culvert policy for agencies to report more data/monitoring on this. He reported MTech is offering an upcoming culvert training. FY 25 work program was finalized and has been submitted to MAR/MTPA and they are continuing meeting with them to finalize it. CSS is continuing to work on the IRT and TAMC support tools and thank the MIC for that project funding. The council will have a new RPA member to the council at the next meeting who will be appointed by the State Transportation Committee.
          1. Kathleen Lomako asked specifics on the culvert data collection.
          2. Bradley stated that it will ideally take 5 years to collect and will be an ongoing effort, but they are working on the data collection capacity that will take and the costs associated. 
  14. Round-table Discussion
    1. No discussion at this time
  15. Next Meeting Date
    1. June 6, 2024
  16. Adjournment
    1. Meeting adjourned at 3:00pm

Roll Call


  • Palencia Mobley
  • Michelle Beckwith
  • Charyl Kirkland
  • Doug Matthews
  • Daniel Lord
  • Sue McCormick
  • Erin Kuhn
  • Kathleen Lomako
  • Marco Bruzzano
  • Charles Marshall
  • Bradley Sharlow
  • Jonathan Mallek
  • Beverly Watts


  • John Daly III – joined virtually.
  • Aaron Keatley
  • Joanna Johnson
  • Jessica Thomas
  • Ryan Laruwe
  • Nathan Hamiton


  • Ryan Laruwe
  • Nathan Hamiton
  • Emilee Madison