Morenci city council grants abatements 10.29.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Three tax abatements for Palm Plastics were approved by Morenci city council members Monday.

According to city assessor Marty Marshall, standard 50-percent abatements will lead to a revenue gain of about $41,000 annually for the city when the company’s expansion is complete and production is underway.

Palm Plastics chief financial officer Todd Vanbynen told council members that six plastic pallet production lines are currently in operation and three more are coming. Some equipment for the manufacture of smaller products has been moved into storage to make room for the pallet division.

The three abatements include:

• $12.5 million for the new Palm facility to be built in the industrial park;

• $2.5 million for equipment now in storage that will be transferred to the East St. South location;

• $3 million for new equipment that will be located in the East Street South location.

The projects are expected to add 36 new jobs in Palm’s existing location on East Street South and from 80 to 90 jobs in the new facility within the first 18 months of production.

COUNCILORS’ ROLES—Following debate at a special meeting Oct. 23, council members voted Monday to accept a resolution regarding the working relationship of the council, mayor and paid staff. State law, the City Charter, city code, the employee handbook and employment contracts were reviewed.

A portion of the resolution states that:

“Council hereby interprets those governing documents to mean that individual council members, including the mayor, have no authority by virtue of their respective offices to govern the day-to-day activities of paid staff. Department heads are amenable only to the full council.”

GEAR—Council approved a request by the fire department to spend $10,000 for four sets of turnout gear to replace aging equipment.

LIBRARY—Stair Public Library was given permission to spend $1,257 for a DVD kiosk to display the growing DVD collection.

TREES—The city will apply for a $200 grant from the Arbor Day Foundation to plant two trees on Arbor Day.

A realignment of council committees resulted in the following assignments:

• Public Safety–Tracy Schell (chair), Leasa Slocum and Jason Cook.

• Public Works–Art Erbskorn (chair), Greg Braun and Slocum.

• Finance, Legal, Personnel, and Economic Development–Keith Pennington (chair), Schell and Erbskorn.

Mayor Doug Erskin serves as an ex officio member of each committee.

COMPLAINT—Property owner Kyle Schaffner told council he believes he is being unfairly targeted in property maintenance issues. Rules must be enforced equally on everybody, he said.

  • Cecil
    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.
  • Front.rest
    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.
  • Front.batter
    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.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • 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.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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