November 12, 2019 - Minutes
City of Buchanan Commission Minutes
November 12, 2019
The regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission was held at City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Tuesday, November 12, 2019 and was called to order at 7:05 p.m. by Mayor Moore. The Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance. There was no invocation.
Present: Mayor Moore, Commissioners Denison, Downey, Toerne and Weedon
Guests: Approximately 7 guests and visitors
City Staff in attendance: Bill Marx, City Manager; Juli O’Bryant, Treasurer; Brenda Hess, City Clerk
• Dan Vigansky – Had questions regarding the Joint Water Sewer. Commented upon Christmas lights.
• Joe Paolucci – Attempted to comment upon Christmas greens and was asked to wait until after it was added by amendment to the Agenda.
• Approve Agenda
• Approve Minutes: Regular Scheduled Meeting October 28, 2019*
• Approve Invoices/Expenditures for November 12, 2019 in the amount of $75,350.61
• Approve the 2020 Holiday Schedule
• Approve the 2020 Notice of Meetings Schedule
• Approve Resolution 2019.11/198 Canceling a Regular Scheduled Meeting on December 23, 2019 and Authorizing a Commissioner and Treasurer to Sign Checks Necessary Prior to the End of the Calendar Year
• Approve Resolution 2019.11/200 to Reserve the City of Buchanan Website
• Approve the re-appointment of Brian Dineen to the Joint Water/Sewer Board for a term ending in 2021
• Approve the re-appointment of Tom Gordon to the Joint Water/Sewer Board for a term ending in 2023
After a brief discussion regarding procedure for adding an item to the Agenda, Downey moved to add Item D under New Business, “Direct the City Manager to have the DPW install the downtown Christmas greens and add cost to the DDA’s ongoing bill. Yeas: Weedon, Downey, Denison Moore. Nays: Toerne. Motion carried by majority. Joe Paolucci was invited back to give public comment regarding added Agenda item. Paolucci commented upon Christmas greens and expressed his opinion regarding City Manager and Mayor. Following his comments, Downey moved, seconded by Weedon to approve the Consent Calendar as amended. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards
Audit report by Plante Moran, PLLC – Kenley Penner – Penner thanked City staff for help in completion of audit. Reviewed general fund revenue noting 52% came from property taxes. Reviewed five-year trends of revenue. Reviewed status of revenue sharing form the State over past five years. Reviewed general fund expenditures. Compared revenue and expenditures. Noted that salaries and public safety account for most expenditures. Reviewed general fund balance over past five years. Noted Buchanan has seven months of funds in reserve in case of an emergency. Noted funds budgeted to actual expenditures are a close match as Buchanan stays within budget. Reviewed 5 years of water and sewer spending trends. Noted the funding of pensions and City is funded at 100% while the State only requires 60% funding. Noted that reallocation needs to occur for pension funding. Reviewed City’s total outstanding debts and noted the amount is consistently payed down. Mayor thanked City staff and Penner.
Consider adoption of Resolution 2019.11/199 – Notice of Intent: Water Supply and Sewage Disposal System Revenue Bonds – Marx reviewed the process of moving forward to obtain bonding for the new oxidation ditch in $9.5 million. There is a little bit of a cushion with the amount being sought. Weedon moved, seconded by Downey to approve the adoption of Resolution 209.11/199, Notice of Intent: Water Supply and Sewage Disposal System Revenue Bonds. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Consider Annual Data Processing Contract Renewal with the County of Berrien in the amount of $2979.00 – Marx reviewed the contracting between the County and the City and the purpose of the software. Denison moved, seconded by Downey to approve the Annual Data Processing Contract Renewal with the County of Berrien in the amount of $2979.00. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
Direct the City Manager to have the DPW install the downtown Christmas greens and add cost to the DDA’s ongoing bill - Downey thanked Manager for providing information regarding the greens and lights. Downey expressed opinion the cost be added to the DDA’s bill. Downey calculated each section of greenery with lights costs roughly $15.00. Moore noted that the purpose of the DDA is to promote the downtown area. Noted installation of lights were previously included in DDA’s $8000 per year fee to the City. Noted DDA could seek contract to install lights by second party. Toerne commented Liz Miller of the Garden Club suggested artificial greens to the DDA in the past. Weedon noted the DDA is a tax collecting entity and should be able to pay for their own expenses. Downey noted City was paid by DDA’s stiped in the past. Moore noted there is presently no agreement between the City and the DDA. Weedon noted the DDA should amend its budget to pay for City services as they did in the past. Denison noted the DDA formerly had a budget line to pay for City services and which was removed this year and that budget was approved by the Commission. State statue says that the City is not allowed to use general fund dollars to support the DDA. Moore noted that an attempt to amend the DDA’s budget but was unsuccessful. Ad-Hoc committee will work to address these issues between the DDA and the City. Downey moved, seconded by Moore to Direct the City Manager to have the DPW install the downtown Christmas greens and purchase the Christmas lights, and add cost to the DDA’s ongoing bill. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
• Dan Vigansky – Commented regarding the DDA’s money. Was called out of order and removed from meeting.
• Cindy Benson – Commented upon the vising Navajo Code Talker presentation for Veteran’s Day. Commented upon behavior of citizens at meetings and desire for behavior at meetings to be dignified.
• Randal Peart – Commented upon problem with sound system. Commented upon membership in Niles Chamber.
City Manager Comments
Marx thanked Plante-Moran for the audit. Noted their thoroughness and professionalism. Noted he is pleased with numbers and noted city takes financial responsibilities very seriously. Noted big expenses are coming up. Expressed optimism in what was discussed in work session regarding the funding of upcoming water and sewer projects.
Noted Jeff Rea is coming from the Niles Chamber/SMEGA and Dave Eifler will be coming on November 25 to discuss City’s payment for their service.
Noted unexpected snowfall causing problems with leaf collection. Reviewed new process using a hay baler to collect leaves using a bigger bale and the need for the vac truck will follow up with clean up of remaining leaves. Noted vac truck will be back in service once broken part is replaced. Colling leaves by this process is saving time for City workers. Reduces trips to landfill and Redbud Track and Trail.
Noted Chamber ribbon cutting at Cameron’s Restaurant. Noted is taking vacation time this next week.
Toerne – Commented upon his no vote on earlier meeting item. Thanked Denison for presenting DDA facts. Thanked Weedon for explaining separate taxes for DDA and City general fund. Commented upon bully behavior of resident.
Downey – No comment.
Weedon – Noted City is fortunate to have responsible financial management. Noted other City entities should follow City’s example. Commented upon Navajo Code Talker presentation. Thanked the American Legion and Jerry Flenar for planning. Commented upon a visitor inquiring about edibles and how they will bring people into the City. Commented upon the DPW building and the flood plain.
Denison – Commented upon DDA facts he presented earlier in meeting. Noted main point was the City and DDA need to work together. Noted perception is reality and it matters to attract outside interest in doing business in Buchanan. Expressed the desire for residents to be involved in positive ways. Disagreeing is not a bad thing but having a bad tone is. Encouraged civility. Commented upon contact he received regarding where retail sales of adult use marijuana is located and noted downtown will not be able to support five dispensaries. Foot traffic from adult use sales downtown is not the only thing that can make sure the downtown is successful. Noted jobs are what people need. Remarked upon Redbud Roots and Seven Engines.
Moore – Commented upon Code Talker and thanked all for coordinating his visit which inspired and enriched the City. Commented upon the audit and the work City staff did to make it successful. Thanked all. Reminded public that the DDA has requirements that need to be met and noted the large turnover in DDA membership. Invited citizens to DDA public information meeting. Noted DDA might need help with reporting requirements as to not lose ability to capture tax money to not be sanctioned by State.
Denison moved, seconded by Toerne to adjourn the meeting. Voice vote carried unanimously. Mayor Moore adjourned the meeting at 8:17 p.m.
Mayor Patricia A. Moore DPM Brenda J. Hess, City Clerk