Buchanan council approves street repair

Published 9:43 am Friday, April 14, 2017

Six roads in Buchanan are about to get a facelift.
The Buchanan City Council Monday unanimously approved to chip and seal a total of 1.18 miles of road.
Affected roads include 0.23 miles of Cemetery (west) Road; 0.17 miles in the 300 block of N. Detroit; 0.26 miles in the 100 and 300 blocks of N. Cayuga; 0.25 miles in the 100 and 300 blocks of Lake; and 0.27 miles of the wastewater access road. The project will cost the city $22,400 to complete.
The project has been sent to Berrien County for construction, but a start date has not yet been set.

Bill Marx

The council was concerned about stones being kicked up, but City Manager Bill Marx assuaged their worries.
“There will be [a layer] of tar, stones, tar and stones,” he said. “After the product has set, we’ll come back with our sweepers and sweep up the extra stone, which we do stockpile and reuse in our operations.”
Preventing stones from being flung into the yards of community members was important to Mayor Brenda Hess.
“I think it’s really important for the citizens [to have the stones swept up], because when the plows come by it throws the stones up into their grass,” she said. “Nobody likes picking that up out in their yard. I think it’s very important to clean up the excess.”
Marx said that the chipped and sealed roads should last between three and five years. While traditional asphalt paving would last longer, it is an expensive undertaking; Marx believes the city will see the most value for the tax dollar by utilizing chip and seal.
“[The cost of this project with chip and seal] is probably 25 or 20 percent of the cost of asphalt,” Marx said. “It’s very reasonable. It’s a surface that will save the community from reaching into its pocket and paying to replace asphalt [in the future].
“It’s probably the best bang for the buck out there for surfacing to gain additional years out of a road,” he said.
Marx said this is the first phase of repaving for the city, and he is hoping to have two additional phases in 2017 in the cost range of about $18,000 per phase. The city is currently in the process of identifying roads that need repair, and Marx says the roads in the most need will be given priority.

Other business
• The council unanimously approved adding an additional day, Thursday, to the city’s Summer Thrill on the Hill. The decision to add an extra day was prompted by the cancellation of the Winter Thrill on the Hill due to unseasonably warm weather in January. The summer event will be in downtown Buchanan from 4 to 10 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 3; from noon to 10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 4; and from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 5.
• The city is now accepting applications for a city assessor. Buchanan previously had a contract with Berrien County to provide assessor services, but the county decided to refocus its personnel and will not renew the contract for the coming year. Any qualified assessor with state certification may mail an application to City manager Bill Marx at 302 N. Redbud Trail, Buchanan, MI 49117.
• A public hearing will be hosted at 7 p.m. Monday, April 24, at Buchanan City Hall to discuss the proposed 2017-2018 city budget. A proposed property tax rate of 17.6000 mills per $1,000 of taxable value, an identical rate to last year, will be levied to cover the budget.
• Spring cleanup will be from April 21 and 22 in the city. The pickup site will be at the parking lot off of River Street. There will be more than 10 large dumpsters available for community members to use.