"Vote Yes" committee supports Morenci bond proposal 4.2

Written by David Green.

Morenci’s “Vote Yes” committee is looking for volunteers to help work toward passage of the May 6 bond proposal for school maintenance.

The committee will meet at 7 p.m. April 10 at Stair Public Library to discuss plans for a campaign hoping to ensure voter approval.

Committee members are Adam Johnson, Carrie Dillon, Penny Baumgartner and Joe Farquhar.

Farquhar said he and Johnson recently toured school facilities and came away even more convinced of the need for maintenance work. The elementary school is now more than 50 years old and the high school has been in operation nearly 40 years.

“Probably the biggest thing that surprised us was the condition of the elementary school bathrooms,” Farquhar said.

The most noticeable problem is the stalls rusted through at the bottom, he said. Plumbing problems at the school include classroom sinks that need to be replaced, but removal will take a special effort due to an asbestos wrapping.

The parking area in front of the school is a lot worse than he realized, Farquhar said, and needs to be rebuilt.

Farquhar said the showers in the high school are the original units and not in good repair.

“The track is in hideous condition and people should realize that it’s not just for the track team,” Farquhar said. “Gym classes and a lot of community members also use it.”

One coach from a league school said he doesn’t want his team competing there this year due to the cracks, bare spots and dips in the surface.

Farquhar said it needs to be rebuilt correctly with drainage so the subsurface will last longer.

Farquhar said he was inquisitive about the finances behind the bond proposal, so he traveled to Lansing with school officials to meet with a panel of bankers, attorneys and representatives from the state treasurer’s office.

“All of this is audited down to the last screw,” he said. “I think the bond is an excellent opportunity. The board of education really did its homework on this.

“You can go on giving the same amount of money you have been giving and get a lot accomplished.”

Taxpayers are being asked to hold the existing middle school bond millage at a steady rate for the next five years to allow $1.4 million worth of maintenance projects. The owner of a $100,000 home would pay an average of $40 a year for five years.

If the bond fails, taxes paid on the middle school bond will begin to decline this year.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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