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November 25, 2019 - Minutes

City of Buchanan Commission Minutes
November 25, 2019

The regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission was held at City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Tuesday, November 25, 2019 and was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Moore.  The Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance. There was no invocation.

Recognition
Value-Added Agriculture Award presentation to Steve Lecklider of Lehman’s Farmhouse by Joanne Davidhizar, MSU Extension and Product Center – Joanne Davidhizar and Julie Pioch from the MSU Extension and Product Center presented Lecklider of Lehman’s Farmhouse with the 2019 Value-Added Agriculture Award.  

Roll Call
Present: Mayor Moore, Commissioners Denison, Downey, Toerne and Weedon 
Guests: Approximately 22 guests and visitors 
City Staff in attendance:  Bill Marx, City Manager; Randy Hyrns, City Attorney; Debra Patzer, City Zoning Administrator; Brenda Hess, City Clerk

Public Comments
•    Jeff Griffin – Encouraged Commission to vote for the people.

Consent Calendar:
•    Approve Agenda
•    Approve Minutes:  Regular Scheduled Meeting November 12, 2019
•    Approve Invoices/Expenditures for November 25, 2019 in the amount of $83,925.91
Toerne moved, seconded by Weedon to approve the Consent Calendar as written. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards
Southwest Michigan Economic Growth Alliance/Niles Chamber of Commerce Update – David Eifler and Jeff Rea – Eifler reviewed changes from SMEGA to Niles Chamber. Noted departure of former SMEGA director Barkley Garret to Alabama.  Reviewed Jeff Rea’s roll in the South Bend Regional Chamber and how it related to the Niles Chamber.  Rea noted economic and political boarders are different from one another in our region.  Noted new companies are looking for existing buildings and “shovel ready” sites for development.  Provided report of Chamber projects and priorities.  Noted INDEK project is bringing in people as they are building a new facility and employees are looking for communities to live in.  Complimented downtown area and also commented that Buchanan has “quality of life” appeal, even if not having larger areas for development.  Encouraged Commission to reach out to Chamber with needs for promotion.  Introduced grant program through the Hunter Foundation for business to apply for beginning in January 2020.

Unfinished Business
None

New Business
Approval of repairs to the Jack Knight Memorial Chapel roof at Oakridge Cemetery – Marx reviewed quotes for the roof repair and noted Larry Money was responsible for bringing roof situation to City attention.  Noted City received two bids and requested bids from ten contractors.  After general discussion of the need for more bids and more information, Denison moved, seconded by Weedon to postpone the approval of the roof repairs to the Jack Knight Memorial Chapel until the December 9, 2029 meeting.  Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Consider options for City residential recycling - Kerry Rattinger, Republic Services – Reviewed current lack of recycling situation with the Southeast Berrien County Landfill.  Landfill stopped accepting recyclables in September due to the lack of a contractor to accept recyclables.  Republic has been taking recyclables over to Elkhart which has added a large expense.  Three options are to stop collecting recyclables, charge the City for recyclables, or raise the recycling rate for individual residents.  Rattinger doesn’t know how things will change as recyclables are a commodity.  Will invite Tyler Ganus to next meeting for more information prior to making a formal decision.
 
Consider approval of the Adult Use Permit Application Form – Patzer reviewed the application and noted it is similar to the medical marijuana application form.  Reviewed changes, especially regarding microbusinesses.  Noted the first twenty-four months only medical permit holders will be able to apply.  Reviewed application process.  Weedon moved, Toerne seconded to approve the Adult Use Permit Application Form.  Roll call vote carried unanimously.
 
Consider approval of Zoning Ordinance Amendment 2019.11/414 - To Allow Marijuana Establishments as a Special Use Within the City of Buchanan – Patzer noted that this was draft three of the Zoning Ordinance and was approved by the Planning Commission on November 19.  Noted there were comments at the Planning Commission meeting both for and against Ordinance.  Patzer provided draft minutes from meeting for Commission to review.  Toerne moved to approve Zoning Ordinance Amendment 2019.11/414, to Allow Marijuana Establishments as a Special Use Within the City of Buchanan. Weedon requested discussion regarding the sale of adult use product in the industrial area.  Expressed concern that allowing sales in the industrial park could hamper business in the downtown district which is counting on increased foot traffic from retail recreational sales.  Moore seconded the motion.  Denison commented upon downtown retail and business in Buchanan in general.  Moore commented that the City doesn’t know how recreational sales will work out anywhere in the City. Noted City’s responsibility is to work with existing partners. Weedon commented that recreational marijuana sales will most likely follow a pattern similar to those of the brewery and brewpub industry, noting locations and variety are typical for brewing establishments and there is plenty of room for a variety of retailers.  Downey noted it will take more than recreational marijuana to make the downtown area successful.  Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Consider approval of three resolutions 2019.11/201, 202 and 203 merging the Inactive Division 20 (Senior Police) to Division 02 (Junior Police) and reallocate assets into divisions 01 and 10 so that all three divisions (01, 02, 10) are evenly funded in the City’s Michigan Employee Retirement System Plan – Marx explained that we not longer have any employees within the Senior Police category and this reallocation will balance the funds so all are equal and puts the City at 100% financing of retirements throughout the City.  We are in the top 3% in the State for the health of retirement plans. Weedon moved, seconded by Toerne to approve Resolutions 2019.11/201, 202 and 203 merging the Inactive Division 20 (Senior Police) to Division 02 (Junior Police) and reallocate assets into divisions 01 and 10 so that all three divisions (01, 02, 10) are evenly funded in the City’s Michigan Employee Retirement System Plan. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Public Comment
•    Randal Peart – Commented upon DPW building location and sediment in mill race as well as the flood of 2018.  Commented upon the appearance of the current DPW location and offered suggestions for improvement. Commented upon ducks.

City Manager Comments  
Marx noted City Hall will be closed on Thursday and Friday for Thanksgiving.  Reminded all that White Saturday is approaching.  Commented upon downtown lights.  

Commissioners’ Comments
Weedon – Thanked Randal for comments upon DPW.  Commented upon maintenance schedule and lack of flooding in City.
Toerne – Reviewed Planning Commission actions.  Commented upon Landfill meeting.  
Downey – No comment.
Denison – Noted the Commission should follow up with Niles Chamber for services promoting the City within the region. Commented upon website lacking economic development information.  Commented upon the DDA Ad-Hoc Committee meeting. Thanked all for attending meeting.
Moore – Reminded all about the upcoming Friends of the Ducks Committee.

Closed Session
Denison moved, seconded by Toerne to go into closed session pursuant MCL15.268, (h) to consider material exempt from disclosure. To receive attorney’s opinion regarding the DDA. Roll call vote carried unanimously.  Moved to closed session at 8:21 p.m.

Toerne departed closed session at 9:05 p.m. Mayor Moore reconvened the meeting at 9:18 p.m. 

Adjourn 
Denison moved, seconded by Weedon to adjourn the meeting.  Voice vote carried unanimously. Mayor Moore adjourned the meeting at 9:19 p.m.


_________________________                ______________________________
Mayor Patricia A. Moore DPM                   Brenda J. Hess, City Clerk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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