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.

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    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Front.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
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    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.

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