The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
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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.

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