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.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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