The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Fayette's sewage treatment system short of cash 5.20.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Paying for sewage treatment services in Fayette is headed down an unsustainable path as expenses continue to outpace revenue.

Village officials aren’t in agreement about how to address the issue, but council is hoping residents will offer some direction at the May 28 meeting.

Council voted in 1994 to charge a quarterly sewer enhancement fee to build a fund for maintenance and replacement of the sewage system. In recent years the fund has been used to pay off the long-term debt from work done so far in the combined sewer separation project and to cover the cost of unexpected repairs.

The fee brings in more than $50,000 a year, said village administrator Amy Metz, but the village continues to dip into the fund just to pay for operation of the sewage system.

Council heard the first reading Thursday of a proposal to boost sewer fees by nine percent.

“We need a public discussion about this,” said councilor Jerry Gonzales.

At a May 11 meeting of the Finance Committee, council member Paul Shaffer pointed out that council voted to renew two levies at their current levels rather than seek a replacement that would bring the levies up to current property levels.

That decision, Shaffer said, was due to an impending nine percent increase in the water and sewer fees. That increase was never put into effect.

Gonzales suggested placing the issue on the November ballot to give citizens the opportunity to decide about an increase. He believes an increase would be a burden on the public due to high unemployment.

Metz was not in favor of continuing to allow the sewage system to operate at a loss. Gonzales suggested a three percent increase, but Metz countered with nine percent—three percent for each of the last three years.

Village financial officer Lisa Zuver told committee members that council has an obligation to run the village in a fiscally responsible manner.

Metz said the nine percent change would bring an increase from $111.62 a quarter to $118.74 for a typical user.

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