Morenci city council 7.16

Written by David Green.

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.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • 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.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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