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.

Fayette school board 10.22.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The financial forecast for the Fayette Local School District isn’t a sunny one. District treasurer Angel Adamski cautioned board of education members Monday that some revenue sources are likely to decline.

“With the current economic conditions, a lot of revenue will be decreasing,” she said in her semi-annual five-year forecast update.

Income and property taxes are expected to take a downward turn and property taxes are decreasing, which will lower the district’s total valuation. Tax delinquencies are expected to increase with growing unemployment.

At the state level, budgets are being trimmed, Adamski said, and state per-pupil funding is expected to grow by only one percent, down from the recent trend of 2.2 percent.

On the expenditure side, the district is saving some cash from the health care changes that staff members accepted, but the cost of supplies and utilities will likely continue rising.

“We still have a carry-over,” Adamski told the board, “but we need to watch carefully since we’re still in a deficit spending situation.”

Fiscal year 2009 projections show a deficit of $305,000, growing to $581,800 in 2010, to $627,000 in 2011 and continuing upward.

The fund balance is shown at $1.3 million for 2009, but current projections show the district slipping into the red by 2012.

“Ohio Department of Education requires districts to do a financial forecast for five years, but they really do not give the tools necessary to do the predictions beyond two to three years,” Adamski said. “So the forecasts for years four and five years are based on trends, and not real solid data.”

“The fact that our forecast is so deeply in the red [in 2012] is indicative that we need to cut more spending or increase our revenues.”

 She figures that after another year, she will have a clearer idea of how to advise the board on actions to take.

BUILDING—Board members voted to accept a bid of $81,149 from Link Custom Builders of Fayette for construction of a maintenance building at the new school.

Bids for the project came in better than expected, said superintendent Russ Griggs, although costs are still high because the building must meet certain state requirements and have state-approved architectural prints.

Construction is expected to begin Nov. 2 and wrap up before the end of the year.

The building will be paid by using interest money collected from the school bond.

SAVINGS—Griggs discussed a proposal to lower administrative costs by at least $90,000 over two years. He would work fewer days and more half days and be paid only for his time on the job.

Since he is already officially retired, he doesn’t receive paid vacation time.

WIND TURBINE—Griggs reported that grants for wind turbine projects are expected to increase from $150,000 to at least $250,000. That’s a level of funding that could make a turbine a reality for the school district, he said.

Wind studies are underway at Archbold’s school campus, Griggs said, and the early results are very promising.

PROBLEMS—Griggs met with contractors Oct. 10 to discuss lingering problems with various facets of the new building, including motion sensors, gymnasium lights and exterior door security.

“We’ve had some good progress since that meeting,” he said.

STAFF—Pending background checks, Sarah Bird was approved as a girls basketball volunteer; Brady Raby and Geoff Gilmore were approved as van drivers; Suzy Sommers was hired as junior high cheerleading advisor; Brad Raby was hired as the freshman boys basketball coach; and Eloise Wyse was approved as a classified substitute.

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