Morenci city council 9.24

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

A few residents on North Washington Street aren’t opposed to the installation of sidewalks in their neighborhood; they just want a little extra time to get the job done.

Their request made sense to Morenci city council members who voted unanimously Monday night to delay the deadline.

City council adopted a sidewalk repair and installation program in 2005 and designated the area of town near the elementary school as the starting point. Several properties in the area have no sidewalk at all and others are in need of repair or replacement.

A portion of the work was completed, but the project was derailed due to funding. The city shares in approximately half the cost of sidewalk work if property owners make arrangements through the city and complete the work by the deadline listed in notification letters.

Washington Street resident Gary Valentine said he doesn’t disagree with the need to install sidewalks—he’s watched people walk in the road for many years—but he thinks the six-week time limit was too short.

Valentine noted that mention of his neighborhood was mentioned in the Observer more than two years ago and nothing was done.

“Now it must be done on really short notice,” he said. “I’d like to see an extended amount of time. It’s foolish not to take advantage of the city’s plan, but it’s a large outlay of cash.”

Brad Lonis agreed, noting that the bad economy will make it challenge to get the work done quickly. He suggestion that residences should be given the same time frame as the school. A walk along Locust Street by the elementary school will be installed next summer after the renovation projects that include paving the parking loop in front of the school.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool agreed that the process became rushed after waiting to see what the school had planned.

“I apologize on that part,” he said.

Councilor Tracy Schell made a motion to allow the same time frame as the school, but she agreed to a change after council member Keith Pennington reminded the group of the annual budget for sidewalk repair.

In order to take advantage of the funds already budgeted for the current fiscal year, he suggested giving residents a June 30 deadline. Council voted 7-0 in favor of the delay.

Councilor Leasa Slocum expressed concern about the next phase of repair, wondering if those residents would also seek an extension.

Vanderpool said he would alleviate that concern by getting notification letters out earlier in the future. That will allow residents more time to make arrangements for having the work completed.

The next phase of the sidewalk plan moves to Gorham Street. Several residents there were ordered by city council to install walks in 1994.

At that time, a court injunction was sought against the city and at least one resident removed a sidewalk rather than repair it.

Although several property owners installed new walks, others refused to cooperate and complained about sidewalks leading to nowhere at the edge of the city.

SKYLINE DRIVE—Council approved a regulation to limit parking to the south side of Skyline Drive, the road leading from East Street into the industrial park.

Police chief Larry Weeks said he had received complaints about semi-trailers parking along both sides of the street and sometimes in the middle of the street.

He recommended keeping the north side of the street free of parking since fire hydrants are located on that side.

LIBRARY—Three-year appointments were renewed for two Stair Public Library board of directors, Sally Kruger and Mike Gillen.

RADIOS—Chief Weeks was given permission to replace three radios. Funds would come from the account derived from  drunk driving arrests.

INVENTORY—City administrator clerk Renée Schroeder attended meeting at the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation. Director James Gartin wants the help of community officials in creating an inventory of available buildings and property.

INVESTMENTS—City treasurer Stephanie Mossing attended a meeting designed to help communities protect investments in light of national economic concerns. Savings are insured to $100,000, Schroeder noted, and Morenci splits its savings between the two local banks.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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