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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
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    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.

Drain commissioner discusses Bean Creek 3.11.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

A question on the Lenawee Conservation District survey about Bean Creek [reported in the March 4 Observer] asks this question: Do you think Bean Creek should be made a designated county drain?

What would that status mean to Bean Creek?

If the river were designated a county drain, property owners could petition the Lenawee County Drain Commission for projects such as erosion control, dredging and the removal of fallen trees.

If a project were approved by a drain commission board, adjacent property owners, with drainage leading to Bean Creek, would help pay for the project.

But is that likely to happen?

“We have no interest in doing that,” county drain commissioner Steve May said. “It would be a very monumental task.”

The first step would be to obtain a petition with signatures of at least 50 percent of the landowners adjacent to Bean Creek in Lenawee County. Since a portion of the river flows through Hillsdale County, the effort would become an intercounty project with Hillsdale’s involvement, also. An enormous number of property owners would be involved in the effort.

If the signatures were ruled valid, May’s office would initiate a study to examine the watershed. A three-member board of determination would make the final judgment. Any property owner could appeal the decision in circuit court.

The cost of a drain project would be assessed to property owners in the watershed and apportioned according to the benefit received by each one.

Rather than designate the entire river a drain, a portion of Bean Creek could be placed under the drain commission’s jurisdiction, but that’s not an approach favored by May.

“Would I do a quarter mile or half mile of Bean Creek? I would say no, it’s probably all or nothing.”

If work were done in one section, the inability to address another area could cause additional problems.

“All the work you did upstream could be negated by not being able to work downstream,” May said.

Property could be reached through a condemnation process, he said, but that leads to other problems.

Certain areas, such as a nature park, could be excluded from maintenance, May said, and the commission would have no jurisdiction to work on it.

“Groups have invested a lot of time in protecting natural features,” he said. “There are natural features that we all appreciate.”

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