Morenci city council 6.3.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

With home foreclosures on the rise, the incidence of unkept lawns is also increasing.

“We’re starting to get a lot of complaints,” said city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder. “There are a lot of foreclosed homes.”

The DPW is operating with a smaller crew than in past years, she said, and currently one worker is out for health reasons. This is making it hard for city workers to handle the mowing at vacant properties.

City council members voted at a rescheduled meeting Thursday to allow city supervisor Barney Vanderpool to seek bids from lawn maintenance companies to handle the task. Vanderpool was given permission to choose the least expensive qualified company when the 10-inch length for grass and weeds is violated.

The property owner will be billed, and if  not paid, the cost will be added as a lien on the property taxes.

EMS—Council hired Chief of Police Larry Weeks to also serve as the Morenci Area EMS administrator, taking over the part-time position from Cindy Lazarz who is giving the position up at the end of the month.

Weeks was involved in several aspects of public safety in a previous job, Schroeder said, and she believes he will do well in this role. Township board members also approved of hiring Weeks.

The administrator’s duties include, for example, filing reports, working with the Lenawee County Medical Control office, billing, working on the annual budget and attending board meetings.

BUDGET—Council approved the city budget for the next fiscal year totaling $2.456 million. This represents an increase of $8,153 from a year ago.

Three-percent wage increase are included for hourly employees and lump-sum increases for department heads. The city will realize some health care savings by increasing the co-pay for for name-brand medications.

BRIDGE—Council approved a resolution to reapply for bridge replacement funding for the Silver Creek bridge on the east end of town. Weight restrictions continue to be placed on the Main Street structure due to maintenance needs.

Funds will be sought through the Local Bridge Program—one of three funding programs through which the city is attempting to secure funds for replacement.

STREET REPAIR—Wenn Seal Coating and Striping will be paid $6,500 to fill cracks on Main Street. The entire length of the street is included in the contract, with the exception of the state-owned portion from the stoplight to the caution light.

FIREWORKS—Council approved a $5,000 fireworks contract with Colonial Fireworks for June 27 during the Town and Country Festival.

Joe Farquhar is collecting donations to pay for the show.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
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    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.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
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    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
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    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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    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.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.

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