The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • 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.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • 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.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Morenci city council OKs land sale for tower 2.11

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council members might have thought they were finished with the land sale to SBA Towers, but the issue returned to council Monday for what should be the final time.

“We were under the impression that everything was in order the last time we passed this,” explained Keith Pennington of council’s Legal and Finance committee.

On Jan. 13, councilors approved the sale of .24 acres of land in the city’s industrial park to SBA Towers for $69,000, minus credit for a lease payment. The property is enclosed by the fence surrounding the tower.

That pact was also approved by an official for SBA, Pennington said, but when the deal worked its way up higher through the company’s hierarchy, SBA wanted an extension of about 20 feet to the east, for a total of .31 acres.

This was requested in case the addition of antennae in the future required the construction of a structure on the ground to support an antenna’s function.

Pennington amended his previous motion to include the additional ground and noted the sale price was now at $65,775 due to the arrival of another lease payment. Councilors approved the motion unanimously.

An audience member asked why the price didn’t increase for more property. Pennington explained that the small parcel was not worth $65,000. The price should be considered buying out of the lease agreement rather than a property purchase.

Another audience member asked if it would be in the city’s best interest to remain tied in with lease payment.

Mayor Doug Erskin said the issue was thoroughly investigated last year, with spreadsheets created to compare the two options.

“With technology changing,” Erskin said, “we don’t know how long they’ll need cell towers.”

No one could answer a question about whether the property would revert to the city if abandoned, but city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder said the SBA is required to remove the antenna if the company chose to abandon the property.

The road leading from Skyline Industrial Drive to the tower remains owned by the city, with SBA granted an easement to use the road.

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