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

  • KayseInField
    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.
  • Front.winner
    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.
  • Front.bank.2
    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.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    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.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Group discusses Fayette's pool 7.16

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

More than 40 people attended a public meeting last week to discuss the fate of Fayette’s community swimming pool. The park board will continue the conversation at its meeting tonight (Wednesday).

“It was a great turnout,” village administrator Amy Metz told village council members Thursday night, “and a nice platform for people to express opinions.”

She characterized those in attendance as split down the middle in support for repairing/rebuilding vs. those who think it should be closed and resources devoted to other park projects.

At the meeting, Metz gave a brief history of the pool, noting that the initial effort started in 1971 with the formation of a non-profit corporation known as the Fayette Fund for Progress.

She said the pool has served as an important asset and a source of community pride.

Park board president Jen Williams explained that the group didn’t favor closing the facility this summer, but lack of money for repairs and maintenance left no other choice.

Park director Scott Wagner said the estimated cost for repairs is $100,000. Over the past three years, expenditures have exceeded revenue by about $16,000 annually.

In addition to repairs to the pool and deck, parts for the aging chlorination system are no longer available. He said Wauseon and Archbold spend about $20,000 each year in maintenance to prepare their pools for opening.

The park board receives $28,000 a year through a millage—a figure that’s expected to decrease due to a change in the state’s tax structure—but this money must be used for all park projects, including the pool.

If a new pool were installed, Trent Lavinder said, new state regulations would have to be followed and those would add to the costs.

It was suggested that both townships would need to get involved with financing a pool since about 40 percent of users live outside the village.

Discussion also included fund raisers and the shortage of volunteers to help with events, and seeking donations from businesses. Mike Figgins pointed out that tough financial times could limit donations by businesses.

Other suggestions included seeking a levy for a new pool and creating a long-term plan for repair or for a new pool.

Mayor Anita VanZile challenged those at the meeting to consider the value of the pool to the community.

A resident asked how the park board’s $28,000 would be used if the pool were abandoned. Williams said the board has talked about other park needs, such as new playground equipment, a skateboard park and improving existing facilities such as the basketball courts and ball fields.

Additional revenue and expense data will be collected and the board will continue to discuss the issue at its meetings. As of last week, the park board was still in need of a volunteer to join the group.

Metz noted later that the athletic booster group is seeking donations for construction of athletic facilities at the new school. Discussion needs to continue about the future of the park facilities when new fields are built at the school.

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