Buchanan City Commission honors retiring public safety director

Published 3:31 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

BUCHANAN — Hugs and handshakes were the order of the day as family, friends and co-workers joined Buchanan City Commissioners Monday in bidding farewell to Public Safety Director Tim Ganus.

Ganus is retiring this Friday after a law enforcement career spanning more than 40 years.

Tributes came from fellow officers as well as Mayor Sean Denison who read a short recognition before presenting a certificate to Ganus on behalf of the city.

Ganus has been with the city since 2013 as an officer, assistant chief, chief and public safety director since 2022. Previously he served with the Eau Claire police department for a short time and then the Berrien County Sheriff’s Department for 27 years.

Reserve Sgt. Jason Cullum was the first to speak. “I want to say congratulations to Tim,” he said. “Every once in a while you meet someone who makes a huge impact. Tim would give you the shirt off his back. He’s always there to listen.”

“He’s been a father figure, referee, mentor and chief, he will never be forgotten, Cullum added. “I thought I was joining a department but actually it’s a family. I won’t say goodbye but see you later.”

Police Chief Harvey Burnett said he’s known Ganus for a good part of Ganus’ 40 year career, dating back to when he was with the sheriff’s department. “One of the biggest things he’s done is to re-establish a sense of integrity and a sense of family as well as the importance of community relations,” he said. “It’s been an honor to serve with him.”

Ganus thanked everyone for their good wishes and also thanked his wife, Cathy, and their family for putting up with all the long hours and years of service. “To the city commission, thank you for all your support,” he said. “For the police department, I will continue to support you as the baton is based on to the younger generation.”

“It’s been an honor and pleasure to serve you all these years,” he told everyone at the meeting. “The community and my co-workers are what makes it worthwhile to come to work every day. Each and every one of you is a dear friend.”

Monday’s meeting also featured a report from the Buchanan Tree Friends. Brian Murphy and Richard Martin reported on recent tree planting efforts, the upcoming Arbor Day celebration and work on a longterm tree plan for the city.

Tree Friends volunteers planted 30 trees on Front Street and in other parts of the city last weekend and plan to plant more trees throughout the year. They are also making plans for what trees to plant after the downtown streetscape project is complete.

The city and the Tree Friends received a state grant recently to pay for trees to plant as well as to create a tree inventory for the city. They said their group’s hope is to find ways to incentivize people to plant trees on their private property.

Arbor Day is Friday but will be celebrated Thursday in Niles at Buchanan Middle School with a program starting at 1:15 p.m. Murphy also showed off a Tree City USA flag which will be presented to the middle school Thursday. Buchanan has been a tree city for 30 years.

Commissioners approved the renewal of the adult use retail permit for the High Profile marijuana business at 804 E. Front St. Questions brought up during the renewal discussion included whether local marijuana businesses have seen a decline since New Buffalo establishments opened last year and what can be done about traffic around High Profile.

City Commissioner Dan Vigansky questioned whether the city can rescind the curbside delivery services put in place for marijuana businesses during COVID. Some have said that it is the curbside delivery part of the business that have cause traffic concerns in the small shopping center located near the High Profile business.

Commissioners had a first reading of an ordinance that will amend the city zoning ordinance to address an expansion of the Buchanan Meadows assisted living facility on Carrol Street in the city. Community Development Director Rich Murphy said the planning commission has reviewed the request and recommends approval of the ordinance changes.

Murphy said the company that owns Buchanan Meadows is planning a significant investment in the community including expanded memory care services. He said the request fits in to the city’s master plan which identifies the need for more adult care and elder care facilities.

City Manager Tim Lynch gave progress reports on a couple of city projects. He said the city is working to get state permits to address the Days Avenue sinkhole where designs to fix it are still under review. Engineers are also looking at how to fix the retaining wall next to the Hoven Funeral Home.