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September 23, 2019 - Minutes

City of Buchanan Commission Minutes
September 23, 2019

The regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission was held at City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Monday, September 23, 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.

Hannah Roberts – BMX Champion - Mayor Moore introduced Hannah Roberts and presented her a certificate for her contributions to the world of BMX racing, her #1 rank as female BMX rider in the world, being the top contender to represent team USA in the 2020 Olympics, her gold medal at the 2019 Pan Am games, her encouragement to young people, and for being a role model to young women everywhere. Roberts spoke briefly thanking Buchanan for the support although not currently living here, she loves to come back home. 

Crossing Guards – Recognition for years of service - Tim Ganus and Diana Selir recognized and presented certificates to the eleven crossing guards for their dedication and years of service for the youth of the City of Buchanan and the Buchanan Community School system.  Those recognized were: 
•    1-5 years: Kathy Lovas and Ted Florey
•    5-10 years: Tina and Dave Spurlock
•    10-15 years: Sharon Morley
•    15-20 years: Anna Bumstead, Jodee Mann, Roy Mark
•    20+ years: Deb Florey, Carl Riggings, Fran Morley

Roll Call
Present: Mayor Moore, Commissioners Denison, Downey, Toerne and Weedon 
Guests: Approximately 25 guests and visitors 
City Staff in attendance:  Bill Marx, City Manager; Randy Hyrns, City Attorney; Mandi Schanick, Administrative Assistant

Public Comments
•    Penny Slocum: spoke as a resident rather than DDA member and gave her opinion of the Mayor, also for Commissioner Toerne and the resent Planning Commission meeting.  Slocum thanked Weedon, Downey and Denison. 
•    Randal Peart: Asked the City Commission to explain Planning Commission’s procedure for choosing eligible candidates to serve on their board.  
•    Dan Vigansky: offered to volunteer for the DDA Ad-hoc committee. Read DDA mission statement and gave his opinion.

Consent Calendar:
•    Approve agenda
•    Approve Minutes:  Joint work Session with Planning Commission regarding adult use marijuana September 5, 2019
•    Approve Minutes: Regular scheduled meeting September 9, 2019
•    Approve Invoices/Expenditures for September 23, 2019 in the amount of $139,801.54
•    Approve Cindy Benson to fill a vacant seat on the Planning Commission as recommended by the Planning Commission Board
•    Approve Traffic Control Order # 256
•    Approve Street Closure request: Days Ave from Front Street to Buchanan District Library Parking lot October 5, 2019 from 2pm – 6pm for a Pumpkin Jamboree Family Event
Denison moved, seconded by Toerne to amend the agenda adding item G. under consent calendar. Roll call vote carried unanimously. Weedon moved, seconded by Toerne to approve the consent calendar as amended. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards
Dr. Audrey L. Carrier – Southwestern Medical Clinic, Buchanan - Dr. Carrier introduced herself; she has been at Buchanan Southwestern a little over a year.  In that time her patient panel has grown to 659 patients; 174 of those patients are ages 65 or older. The age range of patients she cares for are 2 months old up to 100 years.  Carrier added that the Clinic is running beautifully with great staff that is all open to taking new patients.   Moore asked Dr. Carrier to give a small informational speech on how to ensure better health for the town.  Carrier noted that obesity is a nationwide problem and gave a short bio of the diseases linked with obesity.  Carrier added she loves that Buchanan has access to a community trail and that her and the staff walk on the trail almost daily. Carrier also spoke briefly of the EEE disease break out and urged citizens to take precaution and use bug spray while also wearing the proper clothing to help guard from mosquito bites. 

Unfinished Business
Consider rescinding the August 12, 2019 decision to locate the new DPW building at 111 Railroad Street also known as the old feed mill - Marx noted that there has been second thought of making 111 Railroad Street the future home of DPW building. This item has been brought back on the agenda for further discussion and consideration.  There being no further discussion Weedon moved, seconded by Downey to consider rescinding the August 12, 2019 decision to locate the new DPW building at 111 Railroad Street also known as the old feed mill.  Roll Call vote carried by majority.  Nay: Toerne. 

Consider going out for bids to obtain engineering and construction costs for building on the current location of the DPW building located at 606 Clark Street - Marx noted the consideration of the new DPW building to be built at its present location may need more information as the current building resides in the floodplain.  RFP would allow the City to locate a firm to correctly answer what the hurdles there would to rebuild at 606 Clark Street. 

Denison added the idea of having the floodplain reexamined.  The dam was removed which possibly reduced the floodplain area. Downey commented the possibility of looking at location above where present salt building is located.  There being no further discussion Weedon moved, seconded by Denison to consider going out for bids to obtain engineering and construction costs for building on the current location of the DPW building located at 606 Clark Street. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Review and consider quotes submitted for maintenance and full cleaning of water well #4A - Marx informed the Commission of the second bid for cleaning water well #4A which was received by North American Pump Company out of Wakarusa. The first bid was from Peerless Midwest, Inc., a company who has a long standing relationship with the City. Marx noted that Peerless enhanced the description of the work in second bid which better defined the work they would perform, however the price did not change. North American Pump Company gave references Mishawaka area, northern central Indiana. Their description appeared to be fairly apple to apple and their bid was significant savings over Peerless Midwest Inc.  

Toerne noted that the lower cost is more logical, Weedon agreed. There being no further discussion Weedon moved, seconded by Toerne to approve North American Pump Company’s quote of $8,500 submitted for maintenance and full cleaning of water well #4A contingent on final review of North American Pump Company’s cleaning process. Roll call vote carried unanimously. 

New Business
Consider the creation of an Ad-Hoc committee to review, with the intent to revise, the current DDA/TIF plan to explore options for restructuring the current DDA for the purpose of increasing functionality and improving relations with the City

Marx noted the merit in establishing the ad hoc committee for a chance to look at the present relationship with the City and the DDA.  Marx suggests the committee to stay fairly small to be progressive in its review.

Denison informed that the ad hoc was his idea as he is not happy with the DDA and City relationship. The negative advertisement printed in papers needs to end. It’s embarrassing and bad. Denison hopes for Weedon and himself to be representatives on the committee as they proven to be fairly neutral to the situation. Neither one of them are DDA board members and do not have an ax to grind; their goal is to figure out how to make it work. Denison added he is tired of hearing about the past and hopes to look towards the future and figure out a way to redirect where the DDA is going and how they can work together as it will benefit everyone. 

Weedon added that it cannot be stressed enough the evidence an ad hoc committee is needed to find common ground between the two parties.  There being no further discussion Denison moved, seconded by Weedon to consider the creation of an ad hoc committee to review, with the intent to revise, the current DDA/TIF plan and to explore options for restructuring the current DDA for the purpose of increasing functionality and improving relations with the City. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Public Comment
•    Penny Slocum invited the public to attend DDA meetings and gave dates and times. If DDA gets resolved, the City gets the tax dollars.  
•    Norma Ferris questioned who’s responsible of taking care of Ross Sanders. Ferris noted Ross Sanders currently has poison ivy growing on the outside of the building.  
•    Larry Money informed the City Manager of status of the Cemetery Chapel roof, missing tiles, and some deteriorated tiles and advertised the need to get the roof replaced to avoid water damage.   
•    Randal Peart asked why the microphone system cannot be fixed. Also questioned the status of the $8,000 paid to Niles Chamber of Commerce. 
•    Dan Vigansky submitted a written notice to the recording secretary who was a designee of the City Clerk in her absence.  

City Manager Comments  

Commissioners’ Comments
Toerne gave updates of Committees/Boards he currently serves being the Landfill and Planning Commission. Toerne thanked Jeremy Frame on his parking lot/sidewalk improvements taking place. 
Moore advertised the inaugural meeting of the Friends of the Ducks who will be meeting at 6pm Tuesday evening. The group is working to be recognized by BARB.
Downey – none
Weedon attended the Planning Commission Meeting and commented a lot had been accomplished in the long meeting however he was quite surprise at how volunteer applications were handled. Weedon noted the lack of consideration for the individuals in the moment. Weedon wished the committee would have tabled the decision if there was not enough information to vote for members rather than to handle it the way it was handled.  
Denison answered some of the questions from public comments.  Chamber report is due October after that the Commission can decide if they want to reinvest in the Chamber.  Denison added the condition of Ross Sanders house looks really bad and questioned the hold up for getting painted or repaired. Denison added that he doesn’t believe our town is “a slum city” as mentioned in public comments, there is a lot in our city going on that is good and he is proud of our city. Denison agreed the DDA mission is currently too broad and needs to be scaled down to be more specific. Denison also attended the Planning Commission meeting and felt it was an embarrassment and was not run well. Denison reiterated the duties of the Planning Commission to make the best judgement of the people they recommend to the City Commission for approval.  

Closed Session
At 7:57 p.m. Weedon 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.

At 9:42 p.m.  Weedon moved, seconded by Denison to adjourn the meeting.  Voice vote carried unanimously. Mayor Moore adjourned the meeting at 9:43 p.m.

_________________________                ______________________________
Mayor Patricia A. Moore DPM                   Recording Secretary Mandi Schanick

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