Morenci city council; snow removal 1.28

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The best solution for dealing with failure to clear walks of snow? Hope for warmer weather.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder told city council members Monday that she heard several complaints about snow on sidewalks after 10 inches of snow fell earlier in the month.

Typically, she said, city workers handle the job when the ordinance isn’t followed and the property owner is billed for the work. The DPW is understaffed now, she said, and workers are busy removing snow from streets and parking lots following storms.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool said a private contractor with smaller equipment should be hired. He thought that had been done in the past.

Schroeder said the process is more difficult now due to the housing market.

“We’re at the point now with some foreclosed houses that we don’t even know who to bill,” she said.

Tracking down the bank can be very difficult, said police chief Larry Weeks. It’s often located in another state and representatives have never heard of Morenci.

Schroeder said it wouldn’t be good for the city to clear the walk of an occupied house, but leave walks snow covered at vacant houses where there’s no one to pay the cost.

Council member Keith Pennington said that some complaints are lodged unfairly. If snow stops falling in the afternoon, the property owner has until noon the next day to clear snow.

Rather than hire a contractor with power equipment, an audience member suggested hiring individuals in need of employment to work with a snow shovel. That idea was rejected due to liability concerns.

Vanderpool said he is occasionally contacted by people required to perform community service, but they typically fail to show up for work.

Another audience member suggested contacting the high school’s Volunteer Club to assist residents who aren’t able to shovel their own walk.

Rather than go through a bidding process, councilor Tracy Schell suggested the city should seek a contractor by giving a price paid for the work and asking if the person is willing to work at that cost.

Vanderpool was asked to look at costs and come up with a plan to address occupied homes where the owner fails to clear snow.

Citizens with complaints about snowy walks should contact city hall.

BOARD—Al Acuña was appointed to fill a vacancy on the city’s board of review.

INSPECTOR—Harry Hutchison was selected as an alternate building inspector.

  • 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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    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.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.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.

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