Morenci city council 7.16

Written by David Green.


Complaints from neighbors on W. Congress Street led police to the discovery of about 20 cats in a home—nearly all infected with either feline leukemia or giardia, or both.

Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks told council members Monday about a situation in the 200 block of W. Congress Street that resulted in the removal of the animals.

Weeks said the city doesn’t have regulations regarding cats as it does for dogs, but he took action due to health concerns. Because the giardia parasite can be passed on to humans, he believed there was a potential health hazard to people in the neighborhood.

He cited the city’s “emergency abatement” ordinance that allowed him to take immediate action.

About 20 cats were seized and nearly all tested positive for one or both of the diseases. Only four survived.

Concern was expressed that not all of the resident’s cat were in the house at the time, so Weeks gave neighbors permission to live trap cats and then call the police department for removal and testing.

Weeks said he’s looking at potential criminal charges for animal neglect. The county health department has offered to help the cat owner if she chooses to receive it.

Weeks said giardia causes stomach cramps and loss of appetite, but it’s not life-threatening and can be cured with antibiotics.

Weeks was assisted by county animal control officers and Dr. Sherilyn Shoemaker of Morenci Veterinary Clinic. Weeks urged council members to send a note of thanks to Dr. Shoemaker.

She was under no obligation to help, he said, but as a member of the community, she felt it was her duty to assist.

“I hope people will praise her efforts and proactive role in protecting the health of the community,” he said.

CONTRACT—Council members approved a three-year contract with the DPW union, calling for a three percent wage increase each year. The pact increases employee’s co-pay for medications and requires employees to contribute more to their retirement account in order to receive the full six percent contribution from the city.

LEASE—Council voted to renew a property lease to TNG Technologies for the city-owned industrial building on Chestnut Street, behind Wakefield Park.

The company will pay $2,000 a month for a two-year lease, plus a late fee of $250 a month, if applicable. The contract includes an at-will early termination clause with a 60-day notice.

Because the company is in arrears in rent currently, the city agreed to a $7,000 promissory note that must be repaid within 12 months.

REVIEW—The Board of Review will meet at 9:30 a.m. July 23 to consider errors and omissions only.

CANDIDATE—County road commission candidate Don Isley was present at the council meeting, urging those in attendance to consider his past experience on the commission.

RIVERSIDE—The Bean/Tiffin Watershed Coalition was named to coordinate volunteer projects at Riverside Natural Area. David Green was named as the contact person and he will inform city superintendent Barney Vanderpool of any projects.

An Eagle Scout candidate intends to do work at the park, including construction of a picnic table.

  • 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.
    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.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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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