Morenci city council 4.15.09

Written by David Green.


City council will turn its attention to Gorham Street next as the sidewalk maintenance program continues.

Walks were installed previously near the elementary school—with one remaining on East Locust Street, one remaining on Washington Street and the elementary school scheduled for installation this summer—and in the next fiscal year the city will share costs on Gorham Street.

Letters will be sent to residents on Gorham Street where no walks exist. If property owners choose to have the work done through the city’s cost-share program, the city will pay $7 a running foot which is about half the cost.

If residents don’t make arrangements through the city to have the work done, a contractor will be hired to install the walk and a bill for the entire cost will be sent to the owner.

Letters will be sent soon, stating that property owners have until July 1 to respond with plans. Work must be completed during the next fiscal year ending June 30, 2010.

Walks in need of repair will be addressed after the properties with no walks are handled.

One Gorham Street resident already took out a form for sidewalk replacement, said city administrator/cleark Renée Schroeder.

The sidewalk replacement plan was developed by the planning commission in 2005.

POLICE CONTRACT—City council voted 4-2 Monday to approve the tentative police union contract.

Tracy Schell and Jason Cook voted against the motion, at the request of the union steward.

The union steward asked for council  to delay its vote due to a mixup in details between union members and their AFSCME representative, Schell said.

Council member Keith Pennington noted that according to the contract, city council is to abide by the union representative’s directions. Pennington said he checked back with the representative after he heard about the concerns and was told “in no uncertain terms” to move forward with a vote on the contract.

Police chief Larry Weeks said approval is only for tentative agreement and there is still time for discussion.

The contract calls for a pay increase of three percent in each year of the two-year contract for full-time officers and a four percent increase for part-time officers. On-call pay increases from $3 an hour to $4 and the uniform allowance increases by $50 to $700 annually.

Other changes involve the prescription drug card and the pension plan.

  • 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.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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