City budget discussion continues 5.06

Written by David Green.

Negotiations are continuing this week at city hall in preparations for the proposed budget for the next fiscal year, but come Friday afternoon, the document will be ready for public inspection.

Committee meetings are scheduled this week to work out the final details, said city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder, as council members continue to divide the funds up for spending.

There’s a slight decline in state revenue sharing, Schroeder said, and the city will lose $24,000 in rent payments from the closing of TNG Technologies. On the other hand, the city’s industrial park is now paid, and that will save $56,000 annually.

Council is proposing a three percent increase for hourly employees, four percent for part-time police officers and a 25-cent boost for EMS employees. Blue Cross rates increased about 12 percent in January to add to employee costs.

The DPW is hoping to pave the city’s short portion of Weston Road ($8,500) and the west portion of Whitney Avenue ($18,500) and the city’s east parking across from city hall ($65,000).

A new backhoe is also on the department’s wish list ($90,000) to replace a 1991 model, along with a sewer camera ($9,000).

The police would like to replace a patrol car at a cost of $16,000 for each of the next two years. There’s also a proposal to add a crossing guard at Locust and Page streets.

Fire department has plans to buy several items in the next year, including pagers ($2,000) and four sets of turn-out gear ($10,000).

About $40,000 is proposed for building and grounds, but Schroeder isn’t sure if all of those needs will be addressed in the next budget. Requests include a new furnace for city hall; exterior painting at city hall and the library; and caulking at the library.

A hearing for proposed budget is scheduled at the council meeting Monday night, beginning at 7:30 p.m.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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