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.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.

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