City drops lawsuit; will pursue other means 4.08.09

Written by David Green.

A property maintenance violation case will soon take a new turn for the City of Morenci.

A motion of nolle prosequi was filed in district court Feb. 24, signaling the end of prosecution in the case.

Kyle Schaffner was issued citations for several alleged violations which he described as cosmetic. When no action was taken to reach compliance with the city’s property maintenance code, the issue moved to district court.

The property in the case is the old Blanchard Hospital building on North Summit Street, now used for apartments.

Although civil municipal infractions were dismissed, said Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks, the violations remain and the city is considering alternative methods to achieve compliance.

Weeks said the city’s building inspector made repeated attempts to resolve the situation, but when that failed, the case was turned over to his department to issue citations.

Fines are levied to encourage compliance, he said, and in the past there have been situations in which a fine was dismissed once compliance was reached.

Schaffner expressed his dissatisfaction with the city’s enforcement procedure. Through both good and bad economic times, problems tend to take care of themselves, he said.

“When people accumulate sufficient funds, they take action,” Schaffner said.

Schaffner said he doesn’t think blight in commercial and residential property is bad at all in Morenci. He’s heard out-of-town guests mention how good they think the city looks, especially compared to other communities they’ve visited.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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

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