Gorham Twp. voters OK new fire levy 3.12

Written by David Green.

Gorham Township voters—which includes village residents—narrowly approved a new levy for fire protection. The proposal passed 280-265.

An existing 1.5-mill levy for equipment expires this year, said township clerk Mike Figgins, and the new 1.5-mill levy will pay for wages, utilities and maintenance of the fire hall.

The five-year levy is expected to bring in about $46,000 annually, Figgins said, and about half of that will be used for wages.

The new levy goes along with a restructuring of the fire department funding, Figgins explained. The village currently pays half of the utilities cost for the fire hall and also for the cost of fires inside the village limits.

That arrangement ends with the passage of the levy and the township board will now take complete control of the fire department.

The village still owns the ladder truck, Figgins said, and council members will have to decide whether to continue ownership and maintenance or turn that over to the township.

FAYETTE LEVIES—Fayette voters approved both millage renewal requests, although support was far from overwhelming.

Renewal of the 2.9-mill operating levy passed by a 168-130 margin and renewal of the 2.0-mill park levy passed by a larger margin, 175-121.

Council members debated in December whether to seek a renewal or a replacement of the five-year operational levy.

The levy brings in $19,600 annually to the cash-strapped village, based on the same property value structure established in 1968. A replacement levy would have increased revenue to $44,000 by updating the levy to current property values.

During the discussion, some council members expressed concern about an impending increase in sewer rates due to the cost of a long-term upgrade project. With the expense on the horizon, councilors voted to leave the operational millage the existing rate.

Thirty-eight percent of Fayette’s registered votes went to the polls in the March 4 primary.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.
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    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.

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