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July 8, 2019 Minutes

City of Buchanan Commission Minutes
July 8, 2019

The regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission was held at City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Monday, July 8, 2019 and was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Moore.  The Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance. 

Roll Call
Present: Mayor Moore, Commissioners Denison, Downey, Toerne and Weedon
Absent: None
Guests: Approximately 10 guests and visitors, Richard Martin of Buchanan Tree Friends, 
Rick Paniagua of Om of Buchanan, and Jonathan Burke of Tactical Energy Group
City Staff in attendance:  Bill Marx, City Manager; Debra Patzer, City Zoning Administrator; Brenda Hess, City Clerk

Public Comments
•    Cindy Benson – Commented upon the lighting in the City.

Consent Calendar:
•    Approve Agenda
•    Approve Minutes: Regular scheduled meeting June 24, 2019*
•    Approve Invoices/Expenditures for July 8, 2019 in the amount of $97,759.65
•    Approve Appointment of Deb Miner to the Buchanan District Library Board
Toerne moved, seconded by Downey to approve the Consent Calendar as written.  Roll-call vote carried unanimously. 

Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards
Buchanan Tree Friends – Consider approval of planting of trees at the Common – Richard Martin of the Buchanan Tree Friends reviewed the plan for the Common area which includes 7 new trees. The Recreation Board and Common Committee were consulted.  Tribute trees can be purchased for $175 including a tag acknowledging donation.  Possibility of removing some smaller trees for bigger shade trees.  Mayor Moore commented about possible infrastructure along the west side of the Common. Also commented upon possibly moving tree from near the Redbud City Center.  Martin noted Ash tree closer to the stage is dying and will need removal. Commission expressed support of Redbud trees.  Denison moved, seconded by Toerne to approve the placement of trees in the Common.  Roll call vote carried unanimously. 

Unfinished Business
Consider approval of Medical Marijuana Facility Permit renewal for Om of Buchanan previously extended at the June 24, 2019 meeting – Patzer reported that application is order.  Downey inquired regrading transfer. Marx commented that although there have been changes, Paniagua is the face of Om of Buchanan and maintains continuity of the organization. 
Weedon moved, seconded by Downey to approve the medical marijuana facility permit renewal for Om of Buchanan.  Roll call vote carried unanimously. 

Consider approval of previously postponed motion of June 24, 2019, to approve contracts (2) with AEP for Streetlighting Replacement Plan as discussed at the May 13, 2019 and May 28, 2019 City Commission Meetings with additional discussion on June 10, 2019 – Jonathan Burke of Tactical Energy Group – Burke explained formation of streetlighting program was at direction of the State of Michigan.  He contacted I & M a year ago, but program was not ready for implementation.  Burke reported program will not cost the City but will not save money.  Distributed report of lights in City.  Reported there will be no cost benefits, but there is improvement in light quality important for law enforcement. LEDs appear to give a significant increase in light.  Burke reported he would not recommend City taking over streetlighting from I & M due to the extended cost recovery period.  Reported I & M will not profit from program and are being forced by State.  Energy consumption will be reduced by 60% to 70%.  Downey reviewed $15 cost per lamp and question total on handout. Burke agreed to evaluate costs once program had been completed.  Downey expressed concern of cost over the length of program. Burke noted the City would receive better quality product at price of present lighting.  Marx inquired regarding the possibility of energy commission reducing rates.  Burke commented street lighting is a small issue for utility. Weedon commented that I & M should be able to reduce rate once materials are paid for and received appropriate rate of return on investment.  Toerne reported the utilities have to explain every cost when seeking higher rates from energy commission.  Burke reported that utilities dislike customers coming to energy commission as “interveners”. 
Denison moved, seconded by Toerne to approve contracts (2) with AEP for Streetlighting Replacement Plan.  Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Public Comment
•    Cindy Benson – Thanked street sweeping and cleaning crew for appearance of Liberty Heights
•    Norma Ferris – Thanked Commission for talking about agenda items.  Requested City Manager take good care of employees working in heat.

City Manager Comments
Marx commented on Redbud Motocross event staging area and rides for attendees on the Dial-A-Ride shuttle bus.  The shuttle was not utilized much during the actual racing events, but was valuable during time of staging at River Street lot.  The event was attended by approximately 36,000 people and traffic flow was steady at the end of the event.  The new intersection very helpful, looks nice, and responds intuitively to traffic.  City Property for sale at 1102 Victory Street will have a Public Hearing at next meeting.  Car show is coming up Sunday at Centennial Park; preparations are being made. Redbud City Center to be painted and doors to be repaired.

Commissioners’ Comments
Weedon – Inquired about softball fields being locked. BYSBA will be contacted.  Adult softball leagues have been leaving trash and locks could be reaction.
Toerne – No comments
Downey – Inquired regarding the weeds along creek at Common; expressed desire for small section be groomed for creek access.  Requested more information about expenses for City Gator.  Marx commented upon Downey’s inquiry about workman’s comp payments.  Downey commented on view on River Street corridor
Denison – Requested a work session for recreational marijuana.  
Moore – Complimented law enforcement during Redbud Motocross.  Commented upon new group for Friends of the Ducks.  Thanked all who gave suggestions for places to visit for her Australian visitors.

Adjourn
Downey moved, seconded by Weedon to adjourn the meeting.  Voice vote carried unanimously. Mayor Moore adjourned the meeting at 7:55 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.
 

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