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.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
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    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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    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
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • 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.
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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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