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June 4, 2019 - General Work Session Minutes

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

A Special Meeting of the City Commission for the City of Buchanan was scheduled at City Hall, 302 N. Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Tuesday, June 4, 2019 at 5 p.m.  The Mayor called the meeting to order at 5:00 p.m. 

Members present:  Mayor Moore, Commissioners Toerne, Weedon, Downey and Denison
Members absent:  None 
Staff present:        City Manager Bill Marx, and City Clerk Brenda Hess
Guests/Visitors present:  None

Parking – Toerne reported that there are issues with people blocking the mail drop off boxes in front of the Post Office.  Marx will call and inquire.

City has created a map of all municipal parking spots in the downtown area and has started the process of indexing.  A traffic order will be created to assign spots different time periods for different spots. Signage will be created. This will help business who depend upon quick turn over of spots for sales.  DDA has no interest in parking situation and has relied on City to come up with solution.  Handicapped spots will be added near Bliss Building for new resident.  Cameras can be used for timestamping if there are complaints. 

Downtown Business Area - Condition of downtown buildings discussed briefly. 

Medical Marijuana - Possible dispensary location discussed. The organization of Om of Buchanan is in transition, but local permit still valid at this point. G2/Seven Engines is working with Wightman for plans for the former bank location. Drive through dispensaries are not approved at this point. The building for the grow will arrive on June 25. 

Wastewater – Josh Teeter resigned, and job has posted.  Bill Housand is looking forward to the new plant and is committed to Buchanan.  Wastewater operators are in high demand. Union contracts complicate situation in providing bonuses. The State in general is struggling with wastewater facilities deteriorating and lack of operators. The Rural Water Association can help with staffing if needed. Different scenarios for staffing were discussed.  

Police – Retirements are impacting department.  Just hired a part-time recruit from academy.  Posting happen internally first which enables part-timers to move to full time as positions become available.  

Streets – Received M-DOT grant for 2020. State fiscal year starts in October so there is possibility work could happen in fall.  Complicated situation as City cannot work on the roads on the grant list.  Working on secondary list to start working on.  Getting on county list for work. Fourth Street will receive an asphalt cap. Reith-Riley will be doing the work. 

Ross-Sanders and Redbud City Center – City Center to be painted.  Ross-Sanders needed restoration work prior to painting. Used techniques recommended by Preservation.  Trim needs repair near roof. Sign needs updating. Noted during spring the DPW is challenged with amount of work.  Lots of mowing to be done on Ordinance violation list.  Potholes were reported.

DDA – Marx is default director and hopes to get the DDA to move forward.  New chairperson will be named next week. Loss of new director frustrating. Need to establish guidelines for new director. Not certain who will become next chairperson.  They are off course and need to get back on course.  Projects for the DDA were discussed. Lack of business hours in the downtown area was discussed. Discussed pooling advertising money between different committees for advertising.  Can be a valuable organization if it gets back on track. Issues with planter tags.

Summer Concerts – Thursday nights and last Saturday concerts popular. Discussion regarding alcohol consumption. Possibility of sponsorship for movies at the Common this summer.

Food Trucks – City has restaurants which pay taxes. Reluctance to allow food trucks. Possibilities discussed.

Rocket Football – The MDEQ is considering the plans for storage and press box facility at the ballfields. DNR, MDEQ and Drain Commissioner all must approve due to location on flood plain and proximity to McCoy Creek. 

Speed Monitor – Located in front of the Ross-Sanders and other is on a mobile trailer which can be moved to different locations.

Downtown Storm Drains – Water level in downtown was discussed as well as possible solutions for the future. Businesses in downtown district have water problems in basements.

Trees Along Redbud and Front – Marx will contact Tree Friends to coordinate pruning of trees. 

New DPW Facility – Members reviewed work session of meeting.  Moore requested the consideration of adding a woodshop to the building for a community workspace.

Being no further discussion, Mayor Moore adjourned the meeting at 6:56  p.m.

____________________________            ____________________________
Brenda J. Hess, City Clerk                          Patricia Moore, Mayor

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