City Commission Regular Meeting Agenda • April 11 2022

Agenda by City Clerk Kalla Langston

Please note that 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 Also, the meeting minutes may not be published in each issue of The Buchanan Chronicle (probably once a month) due to rules that minutes are approved at the next City Commission meeting.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 this regular meeting Monday, April 11th 2022 at 7:00 pm, in person, Buchanan City Hall Chamber, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, MI 49107.

MONDAY, April 11, 2022 – 7:00 PM

Begin Meeting Agenda:

I. Call to Order
– Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Mayor Denison.

II. Pledge of Allegiance
– Mayor Denison led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

III. Roll Call
– Present: Mayor Sean Denison, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Weedon, Commissioner Cameron Downey, Commissioner Larry Money, Commissioner Patrick Swem.
– Absent: None
– City Staff: City Manager, Heather Grace; City Clerk, Kalla Langston; Community Development Director, Richard Murphy; Public Services Director, Mike Baker; Public Safety Director, Chief Tim Ganus.

IV. Approve Agenda
Motion made by Swem, seconded by Downey to amend the agenda to add section IX. B. 4. Bergman Quote for Covert Design and then approve the agenda as amended.
Roll call vote carries unanimously.

V. Recognition
V.A. Clyde Weaver Recognition Mayor Denison and the Commission presented a Recognition Plaque to Mrs. Geraldine Weaver in honor of her late husband Clyde Weaver.

VI. Public Comment
Agenda Items Only (3-minute limit)
– None

VII. Consent Agenda
(can be approved all in one motion, for general housekeeping items)
VII.A. Consider approving Regular Meeting Minutes for March 28, 2022.
VII.B. Consider Approving Expenditures for April 11, 2022, in the amount of $249,730.41.
VII.C. Consider Approving Road Closure for Memorial Day Parade on May 30th organized by American Legion Post 51.
– Motion made by Money, seconded by Weedon to approve the Consent Agenda as presented.
– Roll call vote carried unanimously

VIII. Scheduled Matters from the Floor
(if any)
– None

IX. Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards
IX.A. Clerk Report – Kalla Langston
– Consider putting the Dial-a-Ride local proposal on the August 2, 2022 primary ballot or the November 8, 2022 general ballot.
– Langston asked for guidance on which ballot the commission would like to see the Dial-A-Ride proposal. Langston’s concern is that there may be up to 15 proposals on the November Ballot and the Dial-A-Ride proposal might be missed. Commission wants to make sure the public has knowledge that it will be on the August ballot. Grace and Langston will share it on website, Facebook, and a newsletter mailing.
– Motion made by Money, seconded by Downey to put Dial-a-Ride local proposal on the August 2, 2022, primary ballot.
– Roll call vote carried unanimously.

IX.B. Public Services Director Report – Mike Baker
IX.B.1. Update Regarding Demolitions
– Victory Street fence was removed. 606 site is clear.
IX.B.2. Update Regarding New DPW Bldg Construction
– Had a great meeting about the DPW, waiting on the August Budget.
IX.B.3. Consider Repair of the 2009 Ford F250 Super Duty 3/4 Ton Pickup
– Baker was able to take it to Grand Rapids to get a quote and they said it needed it new motor, Baker believes it’s in good shape to be repaired. Since they just put new brakes and tires, if they don’t repair this then he would need a replacement truck. The quote came in at $5,600.
– Swem was okay with approving provided they do not exceed the $5,600. To maybe check out the landfill for different connections.
– Downey asked for a maintenance sheet on requests that come through like this. Baker says he can print one for them next time, that he has a program for this. That way the commission can decide if it’s a vehicle worth putting money into.
– Denison agrees with maintenance sheets on all equipment would help in the future as well. So that the Commission knows what they could be replacing in the future.
– Motion made by Swem, seconded by Weedon to approve the 2009 F250 repair not to exceed the $5,673.30.
– Roll call vote carried unanimously.

IX.B.4. Bergman Quote for Covert Design
– The quote on the covert came in from H&K excavators with AVB Construction has estimated their cost alone to be $350,000. That’s just the excavating that doesn’t include what EGLE is going to tell the city what to do with moving the water over or around. That’s just the excavating of the covert and putting the covert in.
– Denison was able to add in that the covert is going from an 8 ft wide to a 20ft wide full concert overpass. If they cut the covert off, they can’t get over to the salt barn.
– Swem was curious if they can build an access road off the trail and if it would be cheaper.
– Baker stating, they haven’t gotten hard numbers in yet, that with all the permits it would be between $350,000- $500,00.
– Denison believes there are other options that need to be explored. Not only was this a shock but the current covert is collapsing. There is a hole in the covert in the middle of the road.
– Swem asking for an RFP to bid out this project.
– Grace asked for the commission to approve of a design solution from Bergman not to exceed 9,000. They can work on that design asap to get that bid out.
– Problem is Baker had to pre-order for Salt, that will be here at some point this summer. And need to be able to get in the salt barn.
– Otherwise, the salt will have to be moved somewhere else.
– Commission, Baker, and Grace tried to come up with different options to store the salt until they can figure out the covert or access road.
– Commission asking for city hall staff to look at explore different options with the covert or alternative road before making the decision.
– Grace is going to ask Whiteman to double check with EGLE about the cost of permits and possible quote for the alternative road.
– Grace is hoping for a quick turn around to give to the commission.
IX.C. Community Development Director Report – Rich Murphy
– Murphy gave a brief presentation about Community Development.
– On Victory Park progress: We are getting a lot of good feedback from neighbors around the area about the park. The city made the improvements to the basketball courts and doubled the size of the park. Now they are moving on to the construction of a pavilion with Kevin Barker offering to design pro bono. They are meeting with some of the neighbors to develop a concept it’s an exciting project.
– Murphy gave this presentation to the Great Lakes St. Lawrence initiative a few weeks back. The group is made up of several cities connected to the Great lakes and its rivers. Murphy stated Buchanan could become a model project that could be replicated for other inland communities. Making the little project in Buchanan more competitive by showing that we contribute to the Great Lakes. The city could assemble up to 50 plus acres of public access to river, rain gardens, ecological restoration, removal of invasive species things that will make water cleaner, and the wildlife habits better, more efficient ways for people to access the water. Murphy is pointing out that this opportunity could be like a mini national park kind of experience. There is an access problem and that’s the vision, to make it accessible.
IX.C.1.Resolutions of Support for Federal Appropriations Grant Opportunities
IX.C.1.a. Resolution of Support for DPW Bldg Construction – Sen. Gary Peters
Motion made by Money, seconded by Swem to approve the resolution of support for the DPW Building Construction to Sen Gary Peters.
Roll call vote carried unanimously.
IX.C.1.b. Resolution of Support for Riverfront Boardwalk and Boat Launch Improvements – Sen. Debbie Stabenow
Motion made by Weedon, seconded by Downey to approve Resolution of Support for Riverfront Boardwalk and Boat Launch Improvements to Sen. Debbie Stabenow.
Roll call vote carried unanimously.
IX.C.1.c. Resolution of Support for McCoy’s Creek Trail Extension #5 to go up Walton towards Connecting to Niles Trails – Rep. Fred Upton
Motion made by Swem, seconded by Money to approve Resolution of Support for McCoy’s Creek Trail Extension #5 to go up Walton towards connecting to Niles Trails to Rep. Fred Upton.
Roll call vote carried unanimously.
IX.C.2. Update on Submissions of Grants to U.S. Fish & Wildlife, as well as to the MDNR:
– Murphy updated in his presentation to Commission.
IX.C.3. Update on Other Grants Currently Being Written:
– Grace gave praise to Murphy on working so diligently on 3 different grants all coming due at the same time.

X. Unfinished Business
X.A. Reconsideration of Ordinance 2022.03/430 – IMPC Adoption Ordinance, Property Maintenance Code
– No action taken.
X.B. First reading of Ordinance 2022.03/431 – Open Burning Ordinance
– Commission asking what the recommendation from public safety about diameter listed. Current wordage is 3 ft in Ordinance. Chief Ganus was able to address the Commission about how they came up with the Ordinance. Swem would like to see it at 5 ft. Discussion between commissioners.
– The Commissioners and Chief agrees that changing the size requirements wouldn’t be a problem.
– Motion made by Weedon, seconded Money to approve the first reading of the Open Burn
Ordinance 2022.03/431 with the changes of 3 diameters to 5 diameters under section 1.A.
Roll call vote carried unanimously.
X.C. First reading of Ordinance 2022.03/432 – Revised Parking Ordinance
– Grace asked for feedback about fees for the ordinance.
– Chief Ganus explained the ordinance and changes that were made. Commission would like to see the parking ticket bumped up to $25.00 as well making sure there is signage down there as well.
– Commission discussing about price with Chief Ganus. Commission agreeing that a higher fee because it is such a high traffic area. The resolution for the fees will be brought to the commission at the next meeting.
– Grace mentioned the fact that if they receive the parking ticket and they are not from here they are now able to pay online. Chief Ganus let the commission know that the change would not take place till July 1, 2022. Since they can push out the ordinance to inform people and business owners, as well as order new tickets.
Motion made by Swem, seconded by Weedon to approve the first reading of the revised parking ordinance 2022.03/432.
Roll call vote carried unanimously.

XI. New Business
XV.A. Consider Resolution 2022.04/430 – Resolution to negotiate the summer school tax collection fee.
– Motion made by Weedon, Seconded by Money to approve resolution 2022.04/430 resolution to negotiate the summer school tax collection fee. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
XV.B. Consider approving Portable Toliet Bid for either Pride the Portable Toilet Company at $7420.00 or LRS recycles at $9,600.00.
– Motion made by Swem, seconded by Downey to approve the bid from Pride the Portable Toilet Company for $7,420.00. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
XV.C. Consider approving the bid from Bakertilly for a water/sewer rate study at $9,000 per fund.
Motion made by Swem, Seconded by Money to approve the water/sewer rate study at $9,000 per fund from Bakertilly. Roll call vote carried unanimously.
XV.D. Consider appointments/Change of Memberships to ZBA
Motion made by Money, seconded by Downey to appoint Joe Kruger to the ZBA. Roll call vote carries unanimously.
XV.E. Closed Session
XV.E.1. Consider Entering Closed Session pursuant to MCL 15.268 Sec.8(1)(d) and (h) to consider the purchase or lease of real property as well as to consider matters subject to attorney-client privilege.
– Motion made by Swem, seconded by Money to enter closed session at 8:52PM.
Roll call vote carried unanimously.

XV.E.2. Consider Re-Entering Open Session
Motion made by Weedon, seconded by Downey to enter re-enter open session at 9:35 PM.
Roll call vote carried unanimously.

XV.E.3. Consider Action based on Closed Session Discussion
– Motion made by Downey, seconded Swem to authorize the City Manager to take action pursuant discussion held in closed session.
– Yes: Denison, Weedon, Downey, Swem
– No: None
– Abstain: Money for personal relationship

XII. Communications
(informational only, formal board action is not necessary for these items, unless so desired)
– None

XIII. Public Comment
Non-Agenda Items Only (3-minute limit)
Norma Ferris: asked about Ross Sanders books. Denison informed her that Money would be there Saturday and she was welcome to join.

XIV. Executive Comments
XVI.A. City Manager Comments
– Grace wanted to share that there has been a lot of developments in the city lately involving grant applications. Just wanted to emphasize how hard the staff has been working to change the culture here in Buchanan when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars. She hopes that the public is seeing that we are trying our best to see that every tax dollar spent is being stretched as far as it can and trying to double or triple with matching grant funds and various opportunities. That is one of our largest goals, we’re spending a lot of time doing it but were finding success.
XVI.B. Commissioner Comments
– Weedon: No Comment
– Swem: No Comment
– Downey: No Comment
– Money: Just wanted to reiterate what city manager Grace said. Buchanan Chili-Walk had a great time, lots of people downtown. Happy Birthday to Baker.
XVI.C. Mayor Comments
– Chili walk was a huge success with 350 people. It was great after 2 years to see downtown buzzing. Chili was great. Reminder that Spring clean-up is on April 29th and 30th at River Street.

XV. Adjourn
– Motion made by Money, seconded by Weedon to adjourn the meeting at 9:40 P.M.
– Roll call vote carried unanimously.

You may view this complete Agenda for this meeting April 11, 2022 here.

You may view all completed City Commission Meeting Minutes on the City of Buchanan Website.

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