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February 18 2017 Annual Meeting Summary

February 18, 2017

An Annual Planning Meeting was held at City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, Michigan Saturday, February 18, 2017 at 9:00 a.m.  Public notice was given as applicable.

Commissioners Present: Carla Cole, Brenda Hess, Pat Moore, Dale Toerne, Dan Vigansky
Commissioners Absent:  None
Staff Present:           City Manager/Police Chief Bill Marx and Clerk Gladys Bybee
Public Present:          6

An agenda was available for discussion and work sheets had been distributed previously by the City Manager.

Public Safety
Bill reported on the camera’s that have been installed at Pears Mill overlooking Common area and waiting for volunteers to help install some around the Common and two camera’s downtown.  There was concern about Bainton Mill security/safety.  He wants to pursue relocating the Fire Station to River Street nine acres. DPW still intended to go to northeast of same property, possibly market five lots with one already inquired about; should be used for a public purpose not to make a profit.  Light Industrial.  Dan urged the members to research combining the three Fire Departments for a Fire District; Buchanan and Bertrand Township’s and Buchanan City for economic purposes.  No guarantee for commitment and involvement. Territorial ownership with the volunteer fire departments has been an issue in the past. CM agreed to have discussion with Fire Chief’s.   Other discussion included hiring two new part-time Police Officer’s and will continue to pursue bike patrols, Southwest Medical Center trying to relocate more professionals in the Dr. Park facility, Fitness Center developing rehabilitation center and possibly a therapeutic pool, crosswalk painting has been neglected and signage needed for safety.
Use stricter enforcement of code violations including drug enforcement. Police use sensitive treatment and follow-up after a lifesaving with narcam to revive heroin overdose.  Vacant buildings downtown need code enforcement. Educate the public of personal safety and protection; using buddy system and/or possibly install alarms along the Trail.

Administrative Services
Bill reported he would continue to keep Administrative Secretary and Police Chief part-time, just hired one for DPW and will hire another in March after losing two employees, and we eventually get our money from banks when City charges for mowing, shoveling, delinquent tax fees on foreclosed properties if it is charged to property taxes.  Educate the public of the necessity of Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades by visually creating supportive material to support the WWTP Ditch; it was suggested to put information in Newsletter on a continuous basis.  Securing grants, better use of social media promoting and publicizing our amenities, upgrade webpage, and consolidating multiple Facebook pages were all discussed.   Five minute break 10:25 a.m.

Economic & Community Development
It was discussed to continue working on welcome signs at City entrances. Bill said he reached out to sign company to get a cost to refurbish present signs and estimate on new signage and would include costs in the budget.  Enhancing the Common and area assets; delay with repair at Pear’s Mill and Common Stage, exterior painting and commercial kitchen for Redbud City Center were all

discussed.  Possibly revitalize Joint Committee and/or a new committee.  Bill confirmed to meet with Jeff Lowery and Tim Carrigan for information about a commercial kitchen at the Redbud Center and Peter Lysy and Bill Cameron about repairs at the Ross Sanders House.  Jerry Flenar, representing the McCoy Creek Trail announced the need for more wood chips and more trees for shade along the creek.  Alan Robandt, representing the Preservation Society explained the need for trees along streets to be used as canopy.  Bill declared we need to manage diseased and dying trees.  Southwest Michigan Economic Growth Alliance (SMEGA) is not focusing on Buchanan Small Business development and opportunities (more so with Niles); continue to monitor their absence from our interest.  He explained his idea and concept to develop a Community Development Director (Debra Patzer) to make Buchanan a “shovel ready community”; have to accomplish our five year plan to be able to get MEDC money. We would be working with First of Michigan out of Kalamazoo.  Alan distributed a letter from the Preservation Society regarding the Ross Sanders House along with an article from Berrien County Record; Letter to the Editor dated October 5, 1983.  Lunch Break at break 11:45

Public Services
Enhancing the water and public works department with new maintenance software. Commissioners and City Manager commended the top notch employees. Completion of the Comprehensive Street Maintenance Program is required in 2018; will do in-house.  City has been replacing sidewalks in house.  Bill reported $10,000 set aside annually to assist with replacement of sidewalk with only one person requested assistance.  Suggested to put information in City Newsletter about sidewalk assistance.  Expediting constructing a new building on River Street, combining a building for a Fire Department and Department of Public Works was discussed.  Property may have challenges for outcome.

Recreation, Parks & Culture
BARB is very active and sub-committees are very involved and active.  Jerry announced XPO interested in taking over Bainton Mills and the Presbyterian Church want to do a project along McCoy Creek Trail.  Not sure of the location for the Dog Park. Committee is discussing it.  Add an extra day on Summer Thrill; Thursday 4 to 10. Chamber of Commerce will support a summer dance.  Winter thrill is still believed beneficial. Jerry reported on Buckteen weekend plans for car show and entertainment; move Citywide Garage Sales to the following weekend.

Community of Choice
All discussed becoming a Promise Community has helped tremendously, two booths at the Berrien County Youth Fair and going to have four hour opportunity for any Buchanan organization to promote their service within the Fair booth.  Dale explained the responses from Dave Pagel about House Bill 4001, Eliminating State Income Tax.  

Being no further discussion the session ended at 1:50 p.m.        

Gladys Bybee, MMC
Buchanan City Clerk

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