May 28, 2019 Minutes
City of Buchanan Commission Minutes
May 28, 2019
The regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission was held at City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Tuesday, May 28, 2019 and was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Moore. The Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Present: Mayor Moore, Commissioners Denison, Downey, Toerne and Weedon
Guests: Approximately 15 guests
City Staff in attendance: Bill Marx, City Manager; Debra Patzer, City Zoning Administrator; Bill Housand, Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator; Brenda Hess, City Clerk
Norma Ferris – Expressed support for street lighting program. Commented on wastewater treatment plant.
Randall Peart – Questions about oxidation ditch maintenance. Commented on prices and maintenance.
Monroe Lemay and Karli Wendorf – Representing One Buchanan in support of non-discrimination ordinance.
Sid Mohn – Representing Interfaith Action Southwest Michigan in support of non-discrimination ordinance.
Pastor Nan - Representing St. John’s Lutheran in Baroda and Representing Interfaith Action Southwest Michigan in support of non-discrimination ordinance. Encouraged inclusion.
Donna Monell- Questions of clarification for items on agenda. Questions regarding items under New Business and bond advisory costs.
• Approve Agenda
• Approve Minutes: Regular Scheduled Meeting May 13, 2019
• Approve Invoices/Expenditures for May 28, 2019 in the amount of $74,109.11
• Excuse Commissioner Downey from Work Session April 15, 2019
• Approve Certification of Delinquent Utility and Mowing Billings in the amount of $8,442.03 to the 2019 Summer Tax Roll
Weedon moved, seconded by Toerne to approve the Consent Calendar as written. Roll Call vote carried unanimously.
Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards
Consider contracts (2) with AEP for Streetlighting Replacement Plan as discussed at the May 13, 2019 City Commission Meeting – Marx reviewed information from previous meeting. AEP will install new lights and dispose of old lights. 332 total lights to be replaced. Additional poles may be installed moving forward. Johnathan Burke reviewed the tariffs we have been charged and found $3,000 per year savings by changing tariffs. The City will not see savings from replacement of lights. Benton Harbor, St. Joe and Dowagiac have received these lights and have had positive response. Downey commented regarding costs versus savings and suggested City purchase lights and install themselves. Moore suggested contacting the representative and seeing if the price can be negotiated. Denison commented that it might be more cost effective for AEP to do and provide the City uniform lighting across the City. Toerne commented that there won’t be expense for the City. Marx commented that previous inquiries into replacement of lighting was approximately $350,000. Noted City employees cannot perform work on AEP poles. Denison moved, seconded by Downey to table approval of AEP Streetlighting Replacement Plan Agreement until the June 10, 2019 meeting in order to obtain additional information. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Consider approval of agreement between the City of Buchanan and Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC for Municipal Bond Advisory Services for finance of the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s Oxidation Ditch in the amount of $26,000.00. Bonding is only option to financing oxidation ditch. Bonding is a complex process and requires both a bond attorney and financial advisor. Complex, multi-step process. City Attorney not qualified for bonding work. We are seeking a nine-million-dollar bond. Bonding costs are rolled into bond amount. Approximate $140,000 cost to get bond to market. City explored commercial loan option; banks will only finance for fifteen years and loan amount needed exceed local financial institution lending ability. Toerne commented bond process similar to underwriting for stock market. Toerne moved, seconded by Downey to approve agreement between the City of Buchanan and Baker Tilly Municipal Advisors, LLC for Municipal Bond Advisory Services for finance of the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s Oxidation Ditch in the amount of $26,000.00. Roll Call vote carried unanimously.
Consider approval of agreement between the City of Buchanan and Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, PLC to serve as bond counsel for proposed electric revenue bonds for finance of the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s Oxidation Ditch in the amount of $47,000.00. Being no further discussion, Denison moved, seconded by Toerne to approve agreement between the City of Buchanan and Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone, PLC to serve as bond counsel for proposed electric revenue bonds for finance of the Wastewater Treatment Plant’s Oxidation Ditch in the amount of $47,000.00. Roll Call vote carried unanimously.
Consider approval of a Medical Marijuana Facility Permit Renewal for a Provisioning Center for SwinnHutch Enterprises located at 221 East Front Street. Patzer commented that representatives are in attendance. City reviewed application. Toerne moved, seconded by Weedon to approve a Medical Marijuana Facility Permit Renewal for a Provisioning Center for SwinnHutch Enterprises located at 221 East Front Street. Roll Call vote carried unanimously.
Non-Discrimination Ordinance 2019.06/412- First Reading and Schedule Public Hearing for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 10, 2019 – Patzer commented that there will be some slight changes to the Ordinance. Read summary of Ordinance.
Consider Purchase of a Return Activated Sludge Pump Replacement for the Wastewater Treatment Plant – Housand commented that the seal is no longer available; entire new pump is needed. New pump will move to new plant. Housand addressed Peart’s questions from public comment. Marx commented that the oxidation ditch will have far fewer pumps and far less maintenance with new plant. Current plant has approximately 40 pumps and the new plant will only have 5 which are lower horsepower. There will be savings due to increased efficiency estimated to be approximately $50,000 per year. Moore expressed appreciation to plant employees for keeping plant going despite age. Toerne moved, seconded by Denison to approve the purchase of a new return activated sludge pump replacement for the Wastewater Treatment Plant in the amount of $10,891. Roll Call vote carried unanimously.
Cindy Benson – Commented on sound quality in Commission Chambers. Commented upon recreational marijuana and need for public hearing for citizen input. Questioned sign at new dispensary having leaves.
Randall Peart – Commented upon departure of former Clerk and DDA director. Questioned about passage of payment to Niles Chamber (formerly SMEGA-Southwest Michigan Economic Growth Alliance).
Jennifer Hanover – Commented on concerns regarding the direction of school district.
City Manager Comments
Marx requested meeting for DPW building on Thursday, May 30 at 5:00 p.m. Additionally, requested a general work session on Tuesday, June 4 at 5:00 p.m. to discuss topics of importance to the City. Commented on Memorial Day parade and cemetery preparations. Commented on Fourth Street/Redbud intersection project which has experienced delay due to weather. Pole supporting concrete to cure and entire project will be complete before Redbud weekend. Commented about staging for Redbud prior to races as well as the shuttle service the City provides to race attendees.
Commissioner Toerne – Commented on canceled Planning Commission meeting. Reported that the Landfill Board had concerns about waste from Redbud Roots. David Murray of Redbud Roots reported that they dispose of the unused product within a mixture of materials rendering it unusable. Reported a leak of leachate which was quickly contained and recapped quickly. North America Natural Resources buys the gas from the landfill and they are disputing a previous contract form 2008 which will go to arbitration. Addressed Cindy Benson’s concerns regarding marijuana. Cited results of last election regarding the marijuana proposal from November 2018. Stated support for vote on recreational marijuana. Welcomed Zen Leaf.
Commissioner Downey – No comments.
Commissioner Weedon – Commented on Farmer’s Market, pies and dog treats. Commented on citizens attending meetings to be sure voices are heard and not just on social meeting. Addressed Cindy Benson and commented on recreational marijuana vote and support for regulation.
Commissioner Denison – Commented on progress, change and growth in City. Commented on patience and persistence. Commented on departure of DDA director and DDA chairperson. Commented upon school district situation and social media reaction. Encouraged focus in positive way for students and the community.
Mayor Moore – Commented upon the opening of Zen Leaf. Encouraged those with questions to contact them at booth at Farmer’s Market. Shared that Flowers by Anna was featured on local magazine cover. Thanked Legion for Memorial Day celebration, parade and years of commitment. Encouraged people to recognize volunteerism in community.
Downey moved, seconded by Denison to adjourn the meeting. Voice vote carried unanimously. Mayor Moore adjourned the meeting at 8:29 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.