The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

2008.10.15.Mary Shellenbarger: Packard Road project

Written by David Green.

Packard Road “Maintenance?”

 

Finally, the westernmost just over two mile paved portion of Packard Road is going to be “fixed.” The residents began hearing of the repair work verbally on October 1 from the Lenawee County Road Commission, and local telephone companies. The last notification I’m aware of was on October 9.  “Maintenance” is to begin on October 20.

The Road Commission is widening and straightening the road from 18 to 22 feet; they are excavating new ditches, and installing new culverts. They have asked residents to clear what they can from the entire state-allowed right of way of 66 feet. The Road Commission told the residents conflicting repaving information, anywhere from next spring, to one to two years from now. One resident was told that the road would only be repaved if there was money.        

This “maintenance” will make this short section of  Packard Road two feet wider than Lime Creek Road, with a much wider clear vision area.  Several people will lose one-third or more of their front yards, including their landscaping and large, old trees to the right of way. Even the large trees left standing on the right of way boundary may not survive the root damage inflicted upon them by the ditch excavation; thereby denuding the road and some people’s front yards.

Medina Township is funding this project.  A public hearing was not required because they are calling this a “maintenance” project.   

The Lenawee County Road Commission is calling the multi-year, multi-phase project “reconstruction,” which I have been told should have had a public hearing held.

Because of the magnitude of changes being made, several of the residents are very upset.  They expected to have their road fixed within its basic current confines, with minimal impact to the character of their road, yards, and homes. They would have appreciated earlier notification, and the opportunity to have been included in the decision making processes. They would like a full written disclosure of the “repair” work to be done. They are concerned that the project will be started, and not completed–leaving them with what? Hopefully, not a bigger mess than what they now have.

Could this be the fate for every other area road that is ruined and needs “repair”? If so, I hope those residents will be treated with more consideration and respect.  

 – Mary (Walter) Shellenbarger 

(former Packard Road resident)

Ionia, Mich.

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