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September 9, 2019 - Minutes

City of Buchanan Commission Minutes
September 9, 2019

The regularly scheduled meeting of the City Commission was held at City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Monday, September 9, 2019 and was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Moore.  The Mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance. Pastor Nathan Babcock gave the invocation.

Roll Call
Present: Mayor Moore, Commissioners Denison, Downey, Toerne and Weedon
Absent:  None
Guests: Approximately 14 guests and visitors 
City Staff in attendance:  Bill Marx, City Manager; Brenda Hess, City Clerk

Public Comments
•    Norma Ferris – Would like to hear the Public Hearing.  Inquired why we need a new well. Inquired about Feed Mill site test results.
•    Dan Benak – Inquired about signs behind businesses B and W for short term parking.  Mayor asked if he could reserve his comments until the second public comment period at the end of the meeting. Benak agreed.

Consent Calendar:
•    Approve Agenda
•    Approve Minutes: Public Hearing and Joint Work Session with Planning Commission regarding adult use marijuana August 22, 2019
•    Approve Minutes: Regular scheduled meeting August 26, 2019
•    Approve Minutes: Special meeting regarding Well 4A VFD replacement August 29, 2019
•    Approve Minutes:  Work Session for Wastewater Treatment Plant and police cameras August 29, 2019
•    Approve Invoices/Expenditures for September 9, 2019 in the amount of $173,021.15
•    Approve the annual Crossing Guard Service Agreement between the City of Buchanan and Buchanan Community Schools
•    Excuse Commissioner Downey from Work Session July 25, 2019
•    Excuse Commissioner Downey from Public Hearing/Work Session of August 22, 2019
Toerne moved, seconded by Denison to approve the Consent Calendar as written.  Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards
Friends of McCoy’s Creek Trail Trek-or-Treat – Saturday, October 26, 2019 – Jerry Flenar – Flenar asked for approval to have Trek-or-Treat.  Noted there would be a run on October 26 in the morning.  Trek-or-Treat begins on the McCoy trail and goes from 12:30 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.  Parking will be available at Clark Testing.  Flenar asked that people not park on Schirmer Parkway. Donations of candy can be dropped off at City Hall. Downey moved, seconded by Toerne to approve Trek-or-Treat for 2019. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Buchanan Scarecrow Festival – Flenar noted that on October 12 at Lehman’s there would be a Harvest/Scarecrow Festival from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.  There will be kids games, turkey bowling, scarecrow making, an apple dumpling workshop, crafts, as well as antique cars and tractors.  Brochures will be available soon.  Candy will be collected at various locations.  

American Legion Veteran’s Day Celebration – A 92-year-old Navaho Code Talker will come and do a speaking program at both the Legion and the High School.  He will also visit some other organizations in southwest Michigan and will spend the week in the area and his daughter will accompany him.  He will also speak at Notre Dame.  More details to follow.  There are only three Code Talkers still alive.  Larry Money commented that he is working on getting a Medal of Honor recipient to speak on Veteran’s day as well.

We Can Ride 4-H Club Walk-A-Thon – Sunday, September 15th – McCoy’s Creek Trail – Charity Hackett spoke on behalf of the We Can Ride 4-H Club.  This is the 40th anniversary of club and are the second longest continuously running 4-H club in county, specializing in helping special needs individuals ride and show horses. Walk-A-Thon will be taking pledges.  

Buchanan Scarecrow Charities – Presentation of check to Buchanan City Police Department for annual Shop with a Cop event – Terry Sulak presented a check for $500 on behalf of the Buchanan Scarecrow Charities for the Shop With a Cop program.  Ganus explained program and thanked community for donations and support of program.

Unfinished Business

New Business
Consider the approval of maintenance and full cleaning of water well #4A by Peerless in the amount of $13,500 – Marx explained that watered well 4-A needs routine maintenance.  Peerless-Midwest has historically provided routine maintenance.  Downey inquired if water employees could perform the maintenance in house in the future.  Marx explained that they back flush the system and use chemicals to remove calcium and other accumulated materials. Well maintenance happens every 5 to 7 years.  Downey inquired if Peerless Midwest was the lowest price and stated desire to see costs from the previous maintenance cycles.  Denison inquired regarding regular maintenance and if well was in danger of failing because it’s capacity was down 33%.  Marx explained  regular maintenance was scheduled by MDEQ and the water department employees.  Marx noted cleaning of all five wells were staggered. Downey moved, seconded by Denison to postpone vote on well #4-A until next meeting.  Yeas: Downey, Moore, Weedon, Denison.  Nays: Toerne.

Consider approval of the Change Order submitted by PRISM Science & Technology in the amount of $3,365.00 for additional environmental investigation at the Feed Mill Property located at 111 Railroad Street – Marx explained that PRISM has completed the initial survey of the property and found two items that needed addressing.  Six above ground fuel tanks had been located on western edge of property adjacent to the home on Jordan Street. Additionally, there was the discovery of ember fields located along the railroad track that used to cut through the property.  City will be digging a trench to see if any tanks remain on the property.  These tanks would have been in use in the 1920s.  Denison commented this would provide piece of mind.  Denison stated he is opposed to present plan for new DPW and provided a drawing of building on site of present DPW site. Weedon reviewed process of where the DPW was to be located starting with River Street, then to Feed Mill site.  Moore redirected group to item on Agenda.  
Denison moved, seconded by Toerne to approve the change order submitted by PRISM Science & Technology in the amount of $3,365.00 for additional environmental investigation at the Feed Mill Property located at 111 Railroad Street. Roll call vote carried unanimously.

Consider approval of a benefit concert at the Common for Sunday, September 22 to benefit RAM – Marx explained that this event conflicted with a production at the Tin Shop which would require this event to be rescheduled.  Withdrawn.

Public Comment
•    Randall Peart – Questioned who the Mayor represents in paper regarding the DDA’s “demise”.  
•    Dan Benak - Inquired about parking changes in municipal parking lot.  Noted all new businesses coming will create more problems.  Noted there are Ordinances on the books for parking.  Frustrated with employees parking in shopper’s spots and with other businesses owners.  
•    Cindy Benson – Commented upon the dumping of extra cement along the creek after sidewalk repair near fitness center.  Noted she appreciates new lighting on Rynearson.
•    Alan Robandt – Commented upon interview in The Paper and expressed disagreement with article about the downtown.  Noted if the downtown is strong the whole town is strong.  Reviewed DDA leadership.  Encourage Mayor not to disband DDA.
•    Dan Vigansky – Made various comments about the increase in water bills, the DDA, police intimidation, City Hall taken from DDA, lights, loans, forgiveness of loans, and Barbara Gordon’s leadership of the DDA.  

City Manager Comments  
Thanked Scarecrow Charities for donation to Shop With a Cop which helps approximately 20 students and their families.

Commissioners’ Comments
•    Weedon – Thanked Dan Benak for commenting upon parking.
•    Toerne – Reminded everyone about upcoming Planning Commission meeting which will be busy.  Reminded everyone of Landfill meeting.  Commented upon letter in The Paper regarding the use of Round Up and the danger being small. Thanked Jeremy Frame for putting money into his business.
•    Downey – Commented upon parking.  Suggested going back to chalking tires.  It was noted it was not allowed.  Addressed concrete issue and commented upon pride in work lacking.  Noted attempt to get DDA on the Agenda and expressed frustration with the City Attorney’s lack of response for the City regarding the DDA.  Noted DDA should help keep downtown buildings in good shape for years to come.
•    Denison – Agreed with parking frustrations but does not think government should be involved in people’s lives.  Requested documents for DDA documents as they are not working on website.
•    Moore – Thanked Scarecrow Charities.  Reminded all the 9-11 program is at same time as DDA meeting.  Noted concerns regarding the direction DDA is taking. Noted that downtown facades need changes often. Commented that government sometimes has to intervein in resident’s problems. People have suggested parking meters to solving parking issues in the downtown. 

Downey moved, seconded by Weedon to adjourn the meeting.  Voice vote carried unanimously. Mayor Moore adjourned the meeting at 8:18 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

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