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.

Gerry Gonzales challenges house valuations 10.24

Written by David Green.

Fayette council member Gerry Gonzales has a challenge for Fulton County home appraisers: He would like to see county officials buy just one house for the amount they have it valued.

Gonzales said he’s seen how much the county said his house is worth and he would like to see someone make him a purchase offer at that price.

Gonzales made his complaint at Thursday’s council meeting when county auditor Nancy Yackee visited.

Yackee explained that appraisals are made by sales studies, not by examining every single house in town. She said that sales studies are pertinent to an individual community.

“We don’t take an Archbold sale and tie it into here,” Yackee said.

Council member Mike Maginn asked where data is gathered in the current situation when houses aren’t selling. Yackee responded that the past three years of sales are used.

“It’s a struggle when you don’t have sales,” she said, “but there are some sales and the prices are coming in higher than valued.”

Yackee said the final decision in appraising comes from the Department of Taxation.

Audience member Eugene Rosinski asked how the new school would affect taxes.

There should be no changes immediately, Yackee said, but it all depends on the sale of property. She views the new school as a positive factor for the community rather than a source of increased taxes.

“It’s not all that easy to draw people to a rural community,” she said. “It’s hard. Businesses are struggling. Foreclosures are happening.”

But she believes a new school and new water wells are both factors that should work in the village’s best interest.

Yackee was asked about the county’s sources of revenue. Sales tax brings in the largest amount, but she noted it’s down about $300,000 so far from the usual figure of about $4 million.

Interest income is also a large source, and it’s growing, and real estate taxes are the third big factor.

“It’s a difficult situation,” she said. “We’re looking at where to make cuts. We’ve done that for the last three or four years, drastically.”

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