"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.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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