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May 26 2009 Minutes

CITY OF BUCHANAN COMMISSION MINUTES
May 26, 2009

The regular rescheduled (due to holiday) meeting of the City Commission was held at Buchanan City Hall, 302 N. Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan, Tuesday, May 26, 2009.  Mayor Clark called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
  
The Pledge was recited by all in attendance.  No Invocation was heard.
 
Commissioners present: Barbara Clark, Carla Cole, Patricia Moore, William Norton, Warren Weaver
Commissioners absent:  None
Staff present:     City Manager Meg Mullendore, City Attorney Randy Hyrns, Fire Chief Tim Gowen, DDA Director Debra Patzer, and Clerk Gladys Bybee
Guests/Visitors present: Senior Services Director Alice Hopkins and 33 visitors including 1 reporter
    
Resident Doyle Vergon opposed the purchase of the 5/3 Bank building due to the purchase and expense of an expansion. He encouraged the Commission to settle the dispute with the DDA and work together.
Resident and downtown building owner Alan Robandt begged the Commission not to move uptown.  
Mark Soltys, DDA Chairman spoke in opposition of the City purchasing the 5/3 Bank Building, as in his opinion makes poor business sense. He further explained that the DDA has assisted renovations with nine buildings downtown and proclaimed the DDA wants to work with City. Soltys urged the Commission to revoke the offer for the 5/3rd bank building and work with the DDA by attending a Work Session next month to resolve issues. 
Resident Dan Vigansky opposed the expense on the purchase of the 5/3 Bank building. 
Resident Dave Hagey asked that the City reconsider the purchase of the 5/3rd Bank building and work a deal with the DDA for the $250,000 loan.

Cole moved seconded by Norton to approve the Agenda as submitted.  Roll call vote carried unanimous.  
• Agenda 
• Minutes: Regular Meeting May 11, 2009
• Checks 57239 to 57336 in the amount of $238,732.79
• Certify Delinquent Utility and Mowing Billings to the 2009 Summer Tax Roll
• Acknowledge Call for Public Hearing on June 8, 2009, 7:00 p.m. to hear comments concerning the distribution of the FY 2009-2010 Southwestern Michigan Community Ambulance Services (SMCAS) Special Assessment Levy and proposed SMCAS budget for fiscal year 2009-2010, which includes the special assessment in the amount of $20.00 per dwelling  
  
Senior Services Director Alice Hopkins distributed the June Newsletter to Commissioners and explained increases in people attending senior functions and in commodity needs.  She reported preliminary process on purchase of property for the new center.

Attorney Hyrns reported that he prepared the ordinance upon the request of the Police Chief and Code Enforcement Officer with the public hearing held on May 11, 2009. 

Cole moved, seconded by Norton to approve the ordinance as submitted. Commissioner Weaver and Attorney Hyrns concurred that a resident would receive notice prior to the City entering private property as questioned by resident Lorne Kay.
AN ORDINANCE AMENDING CHAPTER 14, ARTICLE VIII, SEC. 14-292.
THE CITY OF BUCHANAN ORDAINS:  Chapter 14, Building and Building Regulations, Article VIII, Property Maintenance Code, Section 14-292, is amended as follows:
Sec. 14-292  Amendments.
The 2000 International Property Maintenance Code adopted in section 14-291 is amended and revised in the following respects:
Section 101 Insert:  THE CITY OF BUCHANAN
Section 103.6  Insert:  Cost incurred plus fifteen percent (15%).
106.3  Prosecution of violation.  Any person failing to comply with a notice of violation or order served in accordance with Section 107 shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor, and the violation shall be deemed a strict liability offense.  If the notice of violation is not complied with, the code official shall institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful occupancy of the structure in violation of the provisions of this code or of the order or direction made pursuant thereto.  Any action taken by the authority having jurisdiction on such premises shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such real estate.
Section 111.2  Insert:  Construction Board of Appeals
302.4 Weeds  All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 8 inches (203.2 mm).  All noxious weeds shall be prohibited.  Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs provided;  however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens.
Upon failure of the owner or agent having charge of a property to cut and destroy weeds after service of a notice violation, they shall be subject to prosecution in accordance with Section 106.3 and as prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction.  Upon failure to comply with the notice of violation, any duly authorized employee of the jurisdiction or contractor hired by the jurisdiction shall be authorized to enter upon the property in violation and cut and destroy the weeds growing thereon, and the costs of such removal shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property.
Section 303.14  Insert:  May 1 – November 1
Section 602.3  Insert:  October 1 – July 1
Section 602.4 Insert:  October 1 – July 1
(Ord. No. 330, §§ 2, 5, 7-26-93; Ord. No. 352, § 2, 3-12-01)
Ordinance No. 2009.05/380 declared adopted this 26th day of May, 2009.

After brief explanation and recommendation from the City Manager, Moore moved, seconded by Cole to approve the proposal to resurface Victory, Liberty, Alexander, Cayuga, and Roe Streets for a total amount of $54,523.75 from Reith Riley and authorize the City Manager to sign proposal.  Weaver clarified the resurfacing and 2 inches of milling.  After questions from resident Doyle Vergon, Mullendore replied completion by September.  Roll call vote carried unanimous.

Jeanne Harris, 320 Bluff Street submitted a petition from the North Side Residents requesting the City to check into the status of the condemned property at 324 Elizabeth Street. Petition attached.  Harris reported that she, Mrs. Francis, and Mrs. Tutson have complained and due to nothing being done, the petition was circulated and signed by 48 residents from the north side.  Harris also reported flowers being weed whacked from gravesites at Cemetery.
Debra Patzer invited commission to Work Session, June 3rd, 7:00 p.m. at City Hall.
Tom Fehlner, President of Preservation Society announced hosting a regional History Day with 15 area non-profit agencies and invited Commissioners. He also opposed the repayment of the loan from the DDA as the DDA funds maintenance for Pears Mill.  He explained the ongoing unresolved lack of water to run the waterwheel at the Mill and requested that the Commission address the issue.
Diane Anderson complained about flowers on gravesites being weed whacked by Cemetery workers all last summer even after speaking with the Cemetery Department and requested that it not occur again this year.  She asked that a water spicket be installed in the Cemetery on the Front Street side and has talked with Willie Brown in the past about it.
Jean Tutson reported she has requested, numerous times, that her son’s headstone be raised above ground, not buried and asked that it be taken care of. 
Randall Pierot stated disappointment that three entities (DDA, Chamber of Commerce, and City cannot work together and read a poem.
Lorne Kay asked that the Commission spend the $249,000 on fixing the Mill Race, opposed the expenditure to purchase the 5/3 Bank building, and pleased with the buildings getting full and being repaired downtown. 
Dave Hagey asked the members of the commission to please remember that consequences attached to all decision and recalled past and hoped for an amicable solution. 
Mark Soltys says they are just a bunch of volunteers that want to work together.
Alan Robandt recalled when Mullendore was the Acting DDA Director and was skeptical of the Infrastructure Programs for downtown, is very pleased with Debra Patzer and publicly apologized to Mullendore.

City Manager and City Commissioners’ comments were heard and Commission members signed the checks.

Cole moved seconded by Moore to go into closed session at 8:04 p.m. to review April 11, 2009 Closed Session Minutes, to consider the purchase or lease of real property up to the time an option to purchase or lease that real property is obtained (15.268 Sec. 8. (d)), and to consult with its attorney regarding trial or settlement strategy in connection with specific pending litigation, but only if an open meeting would have a detrimental financial effect on the litigating or settlement position of the public body (15.268 Sec. 8.(e)).  Roll call vote carried unanimous. 

The Mayor reconvened the regular meeting at 8:42 p.m.

Cole moved, seconded by Moore to rescind the motion from the May 11th City Commission Meeting to purchase the 5/3 Bank building on the corner of Front and Liberty in the amount of $249,000 for the use of City Hall.  Also to hire an Architect and obtain an appraisal for both buildings to retrofit for City Hall as discussed in closed session.  Roll call vote carried unanimous.

Moore moved, seconded by Weaver to concur with the advice from the Insurance Attorney regarding the pending litigation as reviewed and discussed in closed session.  Roll call vote carried unanimous.

Cole moved, seconded by Norton to adjourn the meeting at 8:45 p.m. Roll call vote carried unanimous.

__________________________                    ____________________________
Gladys Bybee, CMC-City Clerk                       Barbara J. Clark, Mayor

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