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.

2009.09.02 Larry Stover: Manufacturing space is important

Written by David Green.

I’ve been listening to the debate on whether we as a community should take a valuable industrial property and turn it into a building that will house our police department. I haven’t offered an opinion and I haven’t been asked by any council person to comment on this endeavor, but after reading the editorial last week I felt the need to speak out.

Before I begin I’d like to say that I appreciate and respect our police department and feel their needs have to be met so they can serve our community in the capacity we all want as citizens. It’s just in any decision we make as a community it needs to be thoroughly thought out and I don’t feel the council has listened to people on both sides of the debate.

When our city takes valuable industrial property which can make money and turns it into a building that will consume money then we ought to take a harder look at the decision we’re making. You have to understand it’s going to cost a lot more money to bring that building to code and meet the needs of the police department. So compare these facts: to lease industrial property it costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 per square foot. This, of course, is a building that has been wired for 440 three-phase, has shipping capabilities for truck lines, and has considerable ceiling height to house machines for manufacturing. You want these buildings to be in good shape so you don’t have to worry about having expensive machines damaged by outside weather elements, too. Any of these are perks for a company to move into a facility, but having all of them, which to my knowledge is what this building has, is a deal maker. This building has about 8,000 square feet which in turn could pay $48,000 per year in lease payments. Even if we make deals with companies to locate there we’d be further ahead than the path we’re heading down.

Let me focus on another item: To have a manufacturing facility that has the size to employ 20 to 40 employees using the average of $14 per hour it would generate nearly $600,000 per year or up to $1.2 million in wages. Not to mention the possibility of them purchasing housing in town, buying products from the local businesses and bringing more students into our school district. These are all win-win situations that could happen.

Granted, manufacturing is down globally, but I think it will be back and that there will be a need to create manufacturing jobs in the U.S., Michigan and better yet in Morenci. Let’s think about this again and keep that facility for what it was made for, industry.

– Larry Stover

E. Chestnut Street

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