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.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.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    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.
  • 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.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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