July 22, 2019 Minutes
City of Buchanan Commission Minutes
July 22, 2019
The Public Hearing was called to order at 7:09 p.m. to hear public comments from interested parties regarding the sale of real property owned by the City of Buchanan located at 1102 Victory Street per Charter Section 8.7 (b).
Public Comments Regarding Sale:
• Dan Vigansky – Had questions regarding the sale of the property
Hearing no further comments or receipt of any additional written comments, the Mayor adjourned the Public Hearing at 7:11 p.m.
The regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission was held at City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Monday, July 22, 2019 and was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Moore. The Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance. Pastor Daniel Bartz gave the invocation.
Present: Mayor Moore, Commissioners Denison, Downey, Toerne and Weedon
Absent: Commissioner Weedon
Guests: Approximately 10 guests and visitors, including Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey
City Staff in attendance: Bill Marx, City Manager; Assistant Chief of Police, Tim Ganus; Officer Harvey Burnett, Craig Miller, Water Department, Brenda Hess, City Clerk
• Alan Robandt – Commented upon tearing down the Buchanan Feed Mill. Suggested selling for additional business location.
• Dan Vigansky – Commented upon hiring of sexton. Encouraged City to consider selling Feed Mill. Expressed thoughts regarding present DPW building.
• Randall Peart – Commented upon content of Consent Calendar regarding expenditures.
• Approve Agenda
• Approve Minutes: Regular scheduled meeting July 8, 2019
• Approve Minutes: Joint Work Session with Planning Commission regarding adult use marijuana July 18, 2019
• Approve Invoices/Expenditures for July 22, 2019 in the amount of $567,678.59
Downey moved, seconded by Toerne to amend the Consent Calendar by removing item VII-A Introduction of Full Time Police Officer Chris Takemoto, and adding item VII-C Water Department Thrill on the Hill Update – Craig Miller. Roll-call vote carried unanimously. Downey moved, seconded by Toerne to approve the Consent Calendar as amended. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards
National Night Out – Officer Harvey Burnett – Event held every year at McCoy Creek (Centennial) Park on the First Tuesday in August (August 6th) from 6 p.m.-9 p.m. Burnett invited Commission to attend, have fun, and help promote event. Noted AEP will have a construction rig for the children, and Honor Credit Union will provide volunteers.
Water Department Thrill on the Hill Update – Craig Miller – Discussed Wellhead Protection Grant designed to educate residents regarding importance of protecting City water supply. Shared “swag” bags to be distributed at Thrill on the Hill by the Water Department at their information tent.
Review bids for sale of City property located at 1102 Victory Street – Marx reminded Commission neighbor of property initially inquired to purchase to extend yard. Noted property was advertised at location, in Daily Star, and at City Hall. Property originally purchased for location of Field of Dreams Dog Park in the amount $2,743.38 in June of 2016. Marx reviewed bids received and options for moving forward. Clerk reported two additional inquiries after the closing deadline. Toerne moved, seconded by Downey to repost property for thirty days to obtain additional bids. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Consider approval of purchasing budgeted Police Cruiser in the amount $36,264.00 – Assistant Chief Ganus – Purchase would be for 2020 squad car similar to Explorers currently in service. Department currently has three primary patrol vehicles; new cruiser will replace one of the primary vehicles and will then become a secondary vehicle. Noted Secondary vehicles are retired patrol vehicles used during events and extra activities in the community and not for everyday use. Currently City has six vehicles with one being inoperable. Inoperable car to be disposed of pending purchase of new cruiser. Downey moved, seconded by Denison to approve the purchase of budgeted police cruiser in the amount of $36,264.00. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Consider approval of contributing $500 towards maintenance/replacement of simulation equipment used by the Buchanan City Police Department during training – Assistant Chief Ganus noted this $500.00 will help offset County expense and maintenance of equipment used for training of City Officers. Equipment provides real practice for City Officers with own service revolvers. Training provided at no-charge City. Sheriff Bailey noted County assists all 21 law enforcement agencies in jurisdiction and helps officers prepared for the unthinkable. Thanked City for support. Toerne moved, seconded by Downey to contribute $500.00 towards maintenance/replacement of simulation equipment used by the Buchanan City Police Department during training. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Review and consider the approval of creating the position of Cemetery Sexton within the present ASFCME labor contract – Marx explained this would add title to an existing position. Noted Klay Weaver is currently performing sexton duties in relation to the cemetery and has been receiving corresponding pay rate. Addition of the title of sexton will help with clarity with funeral directors, perception with public, and will help in event of disinterment should it be needed. Noted this will not cost the City more money. Letter of understanding filed with union. Toerne moved, seconded by Denison to approve the creation of the position of Cemetery Sexton within the present ASFCME labor contract. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Consider approval of the demolition of the former Buchanan Feed Mill on City property located at 111 Railroad Street not to exceed $40,000, and to conduct an environmental study of the property by Prism in the amount of $4230.00 – The City has previously considered building new DPW facility on River Street, but needed costly infrastructure. Noted River Street location is adjacent to high power lines and wastewater treatment plant ideal for potential industrial business. Feed Mill footprint smaller, but adequate for present DPW building plan. 111 Railroad removed from county list. Demo to not exceed $40,000. Denison concerned with obtaining one bid for demolition. Marx clarified the $40,000 is a ceiling for the cost of demolition and closed bids would be sought. Downey inquired about other potential businesses for site. Downey inquired where future Fire Department would go if River street parcel sold. Marx stated there would still be room at River Street for Fire Department structure. Denison moved, Toerne seconded to approve a payment in the amount of $4,230.00 to Prism to conduct an environmental study at 111 Railroad Street. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
• Alan Robandt – Informed Commission Smedley property is for sale for $60,000 and Commission should consider purchase to add to River Street property.
• Dan Vigansky – Inquired about DPW building process. Expressed thoughts about sale of River Street property. Commented upon condition of current DPW building.
City Manager Comments
Marx commented regarding Summer Thrill on the Hill August 1st through the 3rd street closure, using sand from previous year which will be used on streets in winter and for main breaks. Noted there are two concerts this year and the City is working closely with Moose Lodge for using their property. Hours have been adjusted. Vendors including Rocket Football, Dog Park, and others. Robotic Club hosting pancake breakfast at Legion Saturday morning. Lots of volunteers and support for event is strong.
Denison – Commented on southwest Corner of Chippewa/Fourth tree removal. Inquired about money from AEP for replacement. Encouraged Tree Friends to be more proactive.
Downey –Commented upon parking lot for Thrill concerts and if it could be cleaned up. Inquired if Sunday could also be a Thrill day. Inquired upon how many properties we have purchased through the land bank. Marx commented upon pieces of land that the City owns.
Toerne– Commented upon Planning Commission and progress with the new master plan. Reported Tom Jolly new façade plan approved and noted minor changes in Ed Graveline’s site plan. Reported on landfill committee; air cleaners need quarterly maintenance and the SVR which pretreats the leachate and removes color before coming to the wastewater treatment plant is still experiencing issues with water clarity. Commented upon landfill vehicle replacement. Noted incident in landfill lab; no injuries noted as emergency plan was followed. Represented City at Niles-Buchanan Relay For Life on Saturday. Event considering moving to Buchanan for next year.
Moore – Friends of Oakridge Cemetery met and discussed resources available at Buchanan District Library for local history. Tin Shop will be performing the Wizard of Oz soon. Read thank you note from Megan Goodrich to City Hall for hosting donation site for menstrual supplies collection for needy.
Toerne moved, seconded by Downey to move into closed session under MCL 15.268(a) closed session; permissible purposes section 8. To consider a periodic personnel evaluation - City Manager, William Marx evaluation. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
The Mayor reconvened the meeting at 9:43 p.m.
Downey moved, seconded by Toerne to adjourn the meeting. Voice vote carried unanimously. Mayor Moore adjourned the meeting at 9:44 p.m.
Mayor Patricia A. Moore DPM City Clerk Brenda J. Hess
This meeting was recorded and may be viewed on Comcast Channel 17 and YouTube.