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.

Edison installing power line to Williams County 7.1.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

A new high-voltage line that will soon pass high above the north side of Fayette will stay out of reach for local electricity users.

Instead, it’s Williams County residents who will benefit from the power source as communities served by municipal systems will buy the electricity at rates below what Fayette pays.

Preparations for the 17-mile line began months ago when Toledo Edison’s real estate division began seeking easements from property owners along the route.

“It’s been going very well,” said Edison’s Gary Keys.

Fulton County easements are nearly all in place, he said, and the majority of those from Williams County have been signed.

The new line will benefit some Edison customers along the way, Keys said, because in addition to the high voltage transmission line, there will be a smaller distribution line that can be tapped to increase power at a farm, for example, where additional electricity is needed to run a grain dryer.

Discussion about the line started about 11 years ago, Keys said, when Edison’s parent company, First Energy, agreed to provide a new power source for Williams County.

The primary need for power is Menard’s manufacturing and distribution facility under construction in Holiday City, but benefits of the new line go beyond that.

Pioneer mayor Ed Kidston is delighted to have the new system coming and says it will benefit both First Energy and the municipal power systems in Pioneer, Bryan, Edgerton and Montpelier.

“These municipalities purchase their power through AMP-Ohio on a wholesale level,” he explained. “This energy comes from various suppliers.”

AMP-Ohio (American Municipal Power-Ohio) is a nonprofit corporation that coordinates and negotiates power supply options.

Years ago the four Williams County communities formed their own joint venture to set up a network of municipal systems that receives power from the south.

With the new line in place, Pioneer and Holiday City will use the First Energy system as their primary source of power and the existing line will serve as a backup. Bryan, Edgerton and Montpelier will now have the new line to serve as their backup.

The new 69 kilovolt line will start at Edison’s substation east of Fayette on U.S. 20 and travel north to County Road S. From there the line will follow County Road S into Williams County. The line will eventually dip back down to U.S. 20 and travel toward Pioneer. Pioneer will need to extend a line about two miles east to tie into the system.

The line will then travel down County Road 16 and end east of Holiday City, where another municipal line will be constructed to tie in.

Progress

All new, taller utility poles will be set along the route, said Edison’s Trent Dominque who oversees Edison’s Fulton County lines. A few existing poles in the Fayette area can be used and workers were clearing old lines last week on the north side of Fayette.

“We’ve got about the first mile and a half completed from U.S. 127,” Dominique said.

Kidston said he expects the system to be operational a year from now, and Keys believes Edison’s portion of the work could be complete by the end of the year.

The substation on U.S. 20 must still be upgraded to handle the increase in capacity.

A 69 kV line will feed directly into Menard’s, Keys said, which pales to the energy devoured by NorthStar Steel (349 kV) but far exceeds the energy consumption of Fayette, which is closer to 12 kV.

This leads to the differential in prices for power, Keys said.

“Any time you have a large entity that can buy bulk power in large quantities, there can be a negotiated price,” he said.

“We have the ability to buy power at wholesale,” Kidston said. “We own our own distribution lines.”

As a member of AMP-Ohio, Pioneer owns portions of several energy production facilities and pays transmission costs to various companies.

Electricity is delivered throughout the community via a distribution system that’s owned and maintained by the village, Kidston said. All the services for the customer are taken care of by the village, rather than relying on Edison.

He understands the frustration that Fayette residents might feel when they’re buying power at a higher price from an investor-owned utility—he knows someone who lives just outside of Pioneer and pays much higher rates—but he also knows there are some reasons for the difference in costs.

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