City Commission Meeting Agenda • October 11 2021

Write-Up by Editor Rebecka Hoyt, Agenda by City Clerk Barbara A. Pitcher

Please note that only the City Commission Meeting Agenda is posted below. At the end of the agenda, click on the link to take you to more detailed minutes of the meeting. Also, the meeting minutes will not be published in each issue of The Buchanan Chronicle (probably once a month) due to rules that minutes are approved at the next City Commission meeting.

THE COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF BUCHANAN in compliance with Michigan’s Open Meetings Act, as amended, B2103192 of 2021, hereby gives notice of a regular
meeting of the Buchanan City Commission to be held in the Chamber of Buchanan City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan MI.

  • Requests to be added to the agenda as a “Scheduled Matter from the Floor” should be submitted in writing to the City Clerk at least 5 business days prior to the
    scheduled meeting during which the speaker wishes to appear, and the approval of such requests remain within the discretion of the Mayor. If denied, the speaker may
    nonetheless speak during the “non-agenda items only” public comments section of the agenda.
  • Those who are unable to appear during a meeting but who still wish to share public comment may submit such comments in written form to the City Clerk at least 4
    hours in advance of the meeting.
  • Individuals with disabilities may request necessary reasonable accommodations by submitting requests to the City Clerk, preferably at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Written requests and comments may be submitted to the City Clerk either in person or via mail to Buchanan City Hall, 302 N. Redbud Trail, Buchanan, MI 49107, or via
    email to

The Buchanan City Commission met for their Monday meeting October 11th 2021 at 7:00 pm, in person, Buchanan City Hall Chamber, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, MI 49107.

Begin Agenda:

MONDAY, October 11, 2021 – 7:00 PM

I. Call to Order

II. Recognition / Invocation

III. Pledge of Allegiance

IV. Roll Call

V. Approve Agenda

VI. Public Comment – Agenda Items Only (3-minute limit)

VII. Consent Agenda – (can be approved all in one motion, for general housekeeping items)

  1. Approve Meeting Minutes
    • September 27, 2021, Regular Meeting
  2. Approve Expenditures for October 11, 2021, in the amount of $____________
    • Expenditures to be submitted separately, once finalized.
  3. Accept Staff Activity Reports
    • Period Ending October 9, 2021

VIII. Scheduled Matters from the Floor (if any)

  1. Rick Paniagua, Cannavista Wellness – Requesting approval of use of The Common for a family-friendly concert on October 29th (~3pm-6pm).
  2. Kotz Sangster- City Attorneys request a Closed Session:
    • Consider motion to enter closed session pursuant to MCL 15.268 (h) to consider matters subject to attorney-client privilege.
    • Consider motion to re-enter open session.
    • Consider motion/s, if any, related to Closed Session attorney-client privileged matters, potentially including:
      • Ethics Policies- Consider proposed ethics policies developed by the City Attorney.
      • Land Development Policy- Consider adoption of a Land Development Policy regarding City-owned real property, as developed by the City Attorney.
      • City Manager Review- Consider selecting the method for performing City Manager Grace’s annual performance review, as discussed by the City Attorney.
      • Parking Ordinances- Consider possible revisions to the City’s parking ordinances, as discussed by the City Attorney.
      • DDA Loan Restructuring Request- Consider possible restructuring of prior DDA loans, as discussed by the City Attorney.
      • Adult Use Ordinance Revisions- Consider possible revisions of the City’s Adult Use marihuana ordinance to allow for vaping and/or smoking of marihuana in specific locations during approved temporary marihuana events, as discussed by the City Attorney.

IX. Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards

  1. Community Development Department Reports
    • Rich Murphy
      • Community Development Director Rich Murphy will provide a brief update and also request consideration of a Façade Grant Application submission by Redbud Hardware.
    • Ashley Regal
      • Chamber Executive Director/Main Street Manager Ashley Regal will formally introduce herself to the City Commission and public and provide a brief update.
    • Kalla Langston
      • Pursuant to Section 4.12 of the Buchanan City Charter, City Manager Heather Grace has appointed Kalla Langston, former deputy clerk for Lincoln Township, to serve as the City Clerk for the City of Buchanan. This appointment shall take immediate effect, though Ms. Langston will not be joining the City staff on a full-time basis until after her two-week notice period with Lincoln Township has ended.
  2. Public Safety Department Report
    • Police
      • Public Safety Director/Police Chief Tim Ganus will provide a brief public safety report.
    • Fire
      • Ganus will also provide an update relating to the Fire Department and their recent grant request.
  3. Public Services Department Report
    • USDA Loans for Water/Sewer
      • Compliance work continues for the USDA financing for water/sewer.
    • Third Street Project
      • Delays in obtaining the EGLE permits necessary begin production have slowed the project, but an update should be provided on Monday by Selge regarding new timelines.
    • New DPW Building
      • Mayor Sean Denison, Planning Commissioner Ralph Macdonald, City Manager Heather Grace, Director of Public Services Mike Baker, Project Facilitators Amelia Lietzau and Gary Barton of the Barton Group, and Lead Architect Buddy Huyler of Bergmann, all met last week to review design updates and the consensus of the group was to recommend to that the Buchanan City Commission vote to approve the 606 Clark Street site as the location for the new DPW building due to logistical difficulties associated with the 111 Railroad property. Approval is also sought to authorize the City Manager to move forward with ALTA survey work by Wightman on the 606 Clark Street site for a cost of $21,385.
    • Updated Rates for Water/Sewer Tap Fees
      • Consider updating the City’s Water/Sewer Tap Fees.
    • Lead-Exploration DSMI Grant
      • Work continues on the potholing associated with the $68,370 grant awarded to the City’s water department to perform a distribution system materials inventory.
  4. Treasurer’s Report
    • Treasurer Stephanie Powers will provide a brief report regarding City financials.
  5. Buchanan Area Recreation Board Report
    • Consider Approval of the Buchanan Area Recreation Board’s request to amend their bylaws to add two new members to the BARB committee, as representatives of Buchanan Township, in furtherance of the City’s efforts with Buchanan Township to create a Joint Recreation Plan.
  6. Niles-Buchanan-Cass-Area Transportation Study Policy & Technical Advisory Committee
    • NBC representative Don Ryman reported via email to Manager Grace that the contract has been let for 2022 construction on River Road Bridge, with U.S. 12 from the Galien Township Line East to Mayflower Road complete and another course of asphalt surfacing to be done in 2022. There was also an update on the project to connect the U.S. 31 Bypass from the Michigan state line to I-94, which should also be completed by 2022.
  7. Buchanan Area Fine Arts Council
    • Consider approving the BAFAC’s request to transition their banking account, which is currently housed at TCF/Huntington, to be moved over to Honor Credit Union, at the end of the calendar year, with the new account to include the Treasurer and City Manager as named signatories, along with the BAFAC Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer (as the BAFAC expresses a need to be able to sign checks on the stop to cover supply costs, etc.).
  8. Buchanan Tree Friends
    • Reminder of tree planting scheduled for Saturday, October 16th, along with an ongoing request for volunteers—including a new request for a “Safety Officer” volunteer for any first-aid needs.

X. Unfinished Business

XI. New Business

  1. Ethics Policies- Consider proposed ethics policies developed by the City Attorney.
  2. City-Owned Land Sale/Development Policies- Consider policies related to the sale/development of Cityowned real properties, as developed by the City Attorney.
  3. City Manager Review- Consider selecting the method for performing City Manager Grace’s annual performance review.
  4. Land Development Policy- Consider adoption of a Land Development Policy regarding City-owned real property, as developed by the City Attorney.

XII. Communications (informational only, formal board action is not necessary for these items, unless so desired)

  1. BS&A Full Implementation Delay
    • Due to staff changes in the Clerk Cashier position, along with software compatibility delays from the City’s water meter software company Sensus, full implementation of the City’s new BS&A financial accounting software will take place in late October, as opposed to late September, as previously projected. Consequently, budget amendment requests are anticipated to be presented in early November.
  2. Municode Website Transition
    • Due to staff changes in the City Clerk position, full migration of the City’s website from its current platform over to the new Municode website is now anticipated to take place in November, as opposed to October, as previously projected.
  3. Andrews University’s “Vision for Buchanan” Implementation Ahead of Schedule
    • City Hall administrative staff hoped that implementation of some of the larger commercial aspects of the recently approved “Vision for Buchanan” plan would likely start to fall into place within around 12 to 18 months of approval; however, we are happy to report that several key aspects of the plan are currently heading towards development already! Though the details of the developments are currently confidential until all properties are through the closing process, we hope to report specifics of the exciting development projects very soon!!
  4. Redistricting
    • U.S. Congressman Fred Upton, along with State Senator Kim LaSata’s staff liaison, each informed Manager Grace during a recent meeting that the “Michigan Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission” has recently released a proposed redistricting plan that would divide Berrien county into four separate sections, which would generally weaken the political power of the County and the Region as a whole. Consequently, Upton and LaSata are both encouraging people in Berrien County to contact the Redistricting Commission to object to the current plan. Details of the plan, as well as a portal to submit comments, are both available at the following website:

XIII. Public Comment – Non-Agenda Items Only (3-minute limit)

XIV. Executive Comments

  1. City Manager Comments
  2. Commissioner Comments
  3. Mayor Comments

XV. Adjourn

You may view the completed October 11, 2021 City Commission Meeting Minutes on the City of Buchanan Website.

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