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.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • 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.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

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