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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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