Fayette village council 6.18

Written by David Green.


There’s not a lot of grant money out there for municipal projects, said Fulton County regional planning director Steve Brown.

“Funding sources are tight,” Brown told Fayette village council members Thursday, but he did bring some good news to the meeting.

The county commissioners approved Fayette’s request to delay work on the next phase of the long-term sewer project, thereby promising to deliver a $40,000 grant in 2009.

The commissioners initially approved the grant for this year, but accepting it would have required completion of the project before the end of 2008. The delay will give the village all of next year to finish the work.

The total cost of the project is $173,000.

Brown told council the funding cycle for state Issue II grants is changing to twice a year. He expects the county might receive a dozen or more rather than the seven obtained last year.

Grants and loans through Issue 2 can be very helpful to a community—up to $325,000 at zero interest for 20 years—but many communities are getting smart, he said, by increasing the local share of a project in hopes of being chosen for funding. Many applications offer a 50/50 or 40/60 share of the cost.

Funding in the Local Transportation Improvement Program (LTIP) is growing, Brown said, but this money is generally given for road projects.

Brown said he isn’t sure what’s ahead for the Block Grant program and it might even be eliminated.

Brown said the village’s funding request for the West Industrial Parkway sewer project was rejected. He suggested seeking Issue 2 money.

CURB CUT—Council voted 3-2 in favor of paying for a curb cut for property on S. Fayette Street that didn’t get taken care of when the new curb was poured.

Craig Rower and Mike Maginn were opposed and Ruth Marlatt was absent. Council approved paying no more than $500 for the project.

Councilor Jerry Gonzales said the letter sent to property owners indicated that all existing drives would be opened in the new curbing.

Councilor Mike Maginn noted that no driveway is visible. If the property owners are that concerned about the curb cut, he said, they should put a driveway in.

Council members Rower and Paul Shaffer put the blame on the engineering firm, but Gonzales said there was a chain of events leading to the problem. A photo of the property was not taken before the project began—the only property missed—the homeowner didn’t specify the drive and the engineer didn’t notice it.

SIDEWALKS—Village administrator Amy Metz will compile a list of sidewalks that need repairing due to water line work. The village will cover the cost of repairs.

TREES—Gonzales noted that sufficient funding won’t be available to cover all the trees in need of cutting. He suggested that the village tree committee could create a priority list, with those trees threatening to damage homes placed at the top of the list.

Care for trees growing in the park is the responsibility of the park board.

CONCRETE—Additional concrete without re-rod is needed for riprap at the sewage lagoons.

MOWER—A used Great Dane mower purchased last year from Verl’s is broken and repair parts are no longer made. A new unit would cost $5,000 and the Finance committee determined that funding is not available.

TRASH—The village is keeping track of diesel fuel prices. If A.R.S., the trash hauler, requests a price increase due to fuel costs, a record of fuel costs will be on hand.

PARKING—The fine for parking violations is still set at $5. The Governmental Affairs committee suggests reviewing the existing ordinance.

CHAMBERS—Balmer Construction, the firm hired to do work on the council chambers, offered to provide free labor to install metal door trim if the village bought the materials at a cost of $289. Council accepted the offer.

  • 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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