Morenci city council: special meeting 10.29.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council took care of six items of business in a special meeting Oct. 23—a meeting that lasted more than three and a half hours.

Considerable discussion was devoted to the roles and responsibilities of council members, the mayor and city employees. The issue was discussed further Monday night and a resolution was unanimously approved to clarify the matter.

Council voted 5-1 to hire Associated Engineers and Surveyors of Adrian for the Hammontree Industrial Drive construction in the industrial park.

Currently, a dirt road leads into the park  off Main Street near United Bank and Trust and intersects with the existing park road, Skyline Industrial Drive. Through the Palm Plastics expansion project, a state grant will pay the majority of the cost.

Associated will be paid $26,775 to design the road and another $44,625 for engineering during the construction phase.

Mayor Doug Erskin opposed the motion because the regular competitive bids process wasn’t taken. Bids were compared from Associated and Jones and Henry and Associated gave the cheaper quote.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder cited wording in the city charter that allows an exception to competitive bidding for services.

Associated was also hired to survey the industrial park land that will be sold to Palm Plastics. Associated will perform the work at the company’s normal hourly rates.

In one other engineering decision, Schroeder was given the authority to spend up to $1,000 to obtain a draft survey of property that will be sold to SBA Network Services, owner of the communications tower in the industrial park.

TNG: Council voted to contact the owner of TNG regarding late rent payments. The company leases the building at the back of Wakefield Park. The is requesting a portion of the overdue payment within 10 days and for the company to be up to date with rent by Jan. 1, 2009, or legal proceedings will begin.

FARM LEASE—Gallup Brothers will be contacted about renewing a lease to farm land in vacant portions of the industrial park. The new lease contract will exclude the 20 acres of land that will be sold to Palm Plastics and also remove an area designated for a storm water retention pond.

SUBSTATION—In an overview of the Palm Plastics project, council learned that neither Midwest nor Consumers is currently able to provide a five megawatt power source needed when Palm expands.

A substation would have to be installed and power might have to be obtained from First Energy in Ohio. Consumers continues to investigate a solution through its system.

ORDINANCE—Councilors discussed the weed and tall grass ordinance and also the purpose and role of the mayor’s property maintenance citizens committee.

It was pointed out that ordinance changes should come from the planning commission and then moved on to council for consideration.

A review of the weed and grass ordinance will be undertaken by the finance and legal committee.

  • 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.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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