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

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.skelton.vigil
    MORENCI’S three Skelton brothers were remembered with both tears and laughter last week during a candlelight vigil at Wakefield Park. Several people came out of the crowd to give their recollection of the boys who have now been missing for five years.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • 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.

Vague wording in Seneca ordinance causes confusion 9.02.09

Written by David Green.

Some vague wording is contributing to a problem for a Seneca Township resident and her child care business.

Dayna Cordts applied in September 2008 for a special use permit to open a child care facility at her new home on Weston Road. The permit included a requirement to enclose an area of at least 5,000 square feet inside a fence, as listed in the township ordinance.

The fence wasn’t erected by June 1, the deadline set, but Cordts pointed out two problems with the requirement. First, the word “fence” is never used in reference to child care centers. The requirement is for an area to be “screened” from adjacent lots. In other areas of the ordinance book, the word “fence” is used, but not for child care facilities.

She also told the planning commission that her facility is classified as a day care group home (for seven to 12 children) and the ordinance applies only to nursery schools, day nurseries and child care centers.

Since her permit was voided, Cordts applied again and on Aug. 3 commissioners  voted 5-0 to grant another one. Cordts said she thought the issue was settled and she was surprised to learn later that she must either comply with the fence requirement or she would be reported to the state licensing authorities.

“I thought they were done with me,” Cordts said. “I wasn’t aware that I was going to be discussed at the meeting. I did things their way [paying $250 to apply for another permit], but then seven days later it wasn’t good enough.”

Planning commission chair Bob Walton said he wasn’t aware that the second permit would require a fence. He also acknowledged that the ordinance needs some attention. When the zoning rules were written in the 1970s, home day care centers didn’t exist. He said the wording should be updated.

Township supervisor John Gould said the Cordts issue wasn’t on the agenda, but the township attorney was at the meeting and offered to address any concerns. He was asked about the fence issue and he advised speaking with state authorities if compliance wasn’t reached.

Cordts wishes she had been at the meeting to explain her position and she intends to address the township board at the Sept. 14 meeting.

At this point, she’s concerned parents might think her day care will be shut down, but that isn’t the case, she said.

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