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December 12 2005 Minutes

DECEMBER 12, 2005 

A regular meeting of the City Commission was held at City Hall, 302 N. Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan and called to order by Mayor Scanlon at 8:00 p.m. 
The Pledge was recited by all in attendance. Reverend Sean Kidd, Buchanan Church of Christ gave the Invocation. 

The Mayor presented the Key to the City to Marv Selge, Selge Construction for his generous contribution of laborers and equipment to work on the McCoy's Creek Fish Ladder. Dick Proud, Chairman of Friends of the McCoy's Creek Trail introduced Mr. Selge's family and expressed his appreciation and gratitude to Mr. Selge and his crew on behalf of the Committee. Proud awarded Selge with a Framed Creek Picture. 

Commissioners present: David Hagey, Flora King, MarLon McGuire, Earl Scanlon III 
Commissioner absent: Patricia Moore 
Staff present included City Manager Meg Mullendore, Treasurer Juli O'Bryant, and City Clerk Gladys Bybee 
Guests/Visitors present were Sharon Vargo and Kenley Penner from Plante Moran along with 39 visitors. 

Hagey moved seconded by McGuire to approve the Consent Calendar as presented. Roll call vote carried unanimous.

  • Agenda 
  • Minutes of the Regular Meeting November 28, 2005 
  • Checks 49194 to 49326 in the amount of $232,703.34 
  • Appointment of Scott Wahlstrom to the Buchanan Area Recreation Board for a term to expire in 2008 

City Treasurer Juli O'Bryant reported that winter tax bills were mailed, two convenient ways to pay bills, sale of dog licenses, and preliminary preparation of the 2006-2007 Budget. Thanks from the Girl's Softball Team for allowing them to sell chili before the Holiday Parade/Lighting and would be formally requesting the sale to be an annual event. 

Mullendore reported that Pastor Kruchkow contacted her to reach Mr. Lucas regarding an arrangement for the Teen Center. She verbalized her recommendation for a buy-sell agreement between the City and Lucas. All shared discussion with concern for the lengthy amount of time the building remains unoccupied at taxpayer expense, the Feasibility Assessment, public notice of sale, and the sale process. O'Bryant relayed information from Lucas and he was waiting for the City to contact him. King moved seconded by McGuire to authorize the City Manager to contact Roger Lucas to discuss negotiation of the sale of the Teen Center. Roll call vote unanimous.

Mullendore explained in detail the letter to the Attorney General for Support of Ingersoll Rand Fine Money being utilized in the City of Buchanan for the McCoy's Creek Trail Project. McGuire moved seconded by King to approve the letter and support the request. Roll call vote carried unanimous.

Sharon Vargo introduced Kenley Penner and presented the 2004-2005 Fiscal Year Financial Audit. Penner thanked City Staff for their commitment of assistance during the audit process and explained the Financial Report. He commended the Commission for retaining a strong financial position for the City. Vargo reported that no findings were made and suggested that old checks be taken off the books and project amounts be included in the minutes. She recommended that the Commission be conservative in working on the incoming budget and new legislation would have minimal effect on the City. Vargo also noted that Plante Moran will submit a proposal to continue doing the Audits due to the conclusion of the previous agreement. 

Mullendore and Bybee reported the challenges that have been encountered and not been able to be worked through to close the Homeowner Rehabilitation Grant M-2001-388-MDC. Mullendore reported that the Third Party Administrator, Community Housing Initiative (CHI) was contacted with meeting confirmed, but they failed to show up or call. Mullendore and Bybee recommended that the City take a proactive approach and implement corrective action on the six (6) homes in order to close out the grant and continue the City's relationship with the State. After brief discussion, Hagey moved seconded by McGuire to exercise the City's right pursuant to Section 7. "Termination" within the Agreement between City of Buchanan and Community Housing Initiative based on subparagraph 1.a. for the Homeowner Rehabilitation Grant. Roll call vote carried unanimous. Hagey moved seconded by King to go out for bid for corrective actions needed to complete the six (6) projects included in Grant Program, M-2001-388-MDC with a provision that the Commission be allowed to review the bids. Roll call vote carried unanimous.

Ron Bennett, Chippewa Street requested that the commission reconsider cutting the trees in the tree lawn. He expressed his opinion of the meeting with City Forester Jon Raines and City Manager but did not resolve anything and was still concerned about the tree removal (no good explanation given why the trees had to come down). There was brief debate of who the decision maker was at AEP in regards to the future of the trees. Commissioners remarked that they hadn't heard any other concerns about the trees on that street. Bennett concurred to the Mayors request for Commission to hear from the City Manager and find out why AEP marked the trees. 

Mullendore commented: 

  • Continued manufacturing problem with the ballasts in the streetlights downtown. Manufacturer contracted with IBID Electric to replace the malfunctioning ballasts. Will demand warranty of at least five years. Discussion shared. 
  • Public Broadcasting Channel 99 fixed by Comcast with better reception. 
  • In receipt of a letter from Front Street Framery Art & Clock Gallery, Chris DenHerder (22 years) stating reasons for having a business in Buchanan and why "Life is better here." She read the letter. 
  • Friends of McCoy's Creek Trail will be receiving Community Service Award from Michigan Recreation and Park Association. Ceremony in Lansing January 12th 
  • In receipt of numerous complaints on uncollected leaves. Currently covered by snow with the focus on snow removal and leaves will be removed weather permitting. 
  • Reminder to residents that they are responsible for snow removal on their sidewalks. Direction to bring forward policy for 24 hour grace before enforcement action. Discussion shared about downtown sidewalks and request made to all to maintain and keep clear sidewalks so they are passable. Clearing around fire hydrants discussed. 
  • Cool Cities seminar attended by herself, Klarich and Bybee with information gathered for 2006 grant cycle. 

All shared Holiday Greetings 

King commented: 

  • Pleasure with the Holiday Lighting Ceremony 

McGuire commented: 

  • Commendation to DPW on snow removal 

Scanlon commented: 

  • Thanks to Mr. Selge and employees 
  • Thanks to Trail Committee 
  • Commendation to Treasurer for work well done 
  • Delight with attending the City of Stevensville Holiday Festivities and participation in a Scavenger Hunt (sponsored by the DDA) with downtown businesses. 

Mullendore reported the tragic loss to a long time Buchanan Family. The Mayor asked for a moment of silence for best wishes to the Firmer and Wilma King family on the loss of their son Michael. 

McGuire moved seconded by King to adjourn the meeting at 9:47 p.m. Voice vote carried unanimous.

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