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.

Fayette water and sewer costs 8.15

Written by David Green.

No matter what projects Fayette village council members tackle, no matter which way they turn, there’s always the $8 million question sitting in the background.

It’s something village administrator Tom Spiess mentions often, just to keep it fresh in the minds of council members. Eventually, the group will have to deal with sewer issues that are likely to grow more expensive as the years go by.

Spiess told councilors at the Aug. 1 meeting that a proposed long-term plan with the Ohio EPA calls for a reduction in the number of overflows into Spring Creek. By the year 2028, the amount of liquid passing through the sewage system must be reduced so that no more than four overflow events transpire in a single year.

Fayette’s sewer system is designed so that heavy precipitation causes an overflow into the creek, but the Ohio EPA wants fewer of them to occur.

The existing lagoon system can’t handle the volume of waste when storm water combines with septic waste. An effort to separate those two systems began years ago and now covers certain parts of the village. To complete the separation project, an estimated $4.2 million is needed.

RATES—Spiess said council should use every state and federal grant available, along with no-interest loans, but that’s not all. He believes council must also study the operational costs of the water and sewer system to make sure that rates cover personnel and chemicals.

Currently, he said, fees charged to customers don’t cover the cost of providing the service and money has to be taken out of the already-challenged general fund.

A new industrial customer with large water needs would lead to a good solution to the problem, Spiess said, but that’s not possible until the sewage system is replaced. The existing lagoon system could not handle an increase in use.

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