Morenci city council 9.16.09

Written by David Green.


A citizen asked for an additional stop sign on Locust Street near the elementary school, and at least one council member agrees there’s a problem.

Council’s Public Safety committee will consider the matter, along with police chief Larry Weeks, and refer the issue back to council.

Locust Street resident Laura Wager told council members about a problem with speeding vehicles on her street. Without a stop sign east from East Street, she estimates some vehicles traveling 40 to 50 miles and hour.

“Probably faster,” said councilor Jason Cook who lives in the area.

“We have many, many young children on that street who don’t know how to cross streets,” Wager said. “Certain drivers are showing a lack of consideration for other people. We need to act before we lose a child.”

From East Street to Washington Street, Locust Street measures about a quarter mile, she said, and she suggested a stop sign either at Burley or Page. Cook said that Page would be a better choice for a three-way stop sign since many children cross the street there to reach the school’s sidewalk.

Chief Weeks said that studies have shown that stop signs don’t always impede speeding as might be expected, but he would consider the suggestion.

City law designates that the police chief serve as traffic engineer who would make recommendations to council.

Wager said she has license plate numbers that she’s willing to give the police department. Weeks said the state law requires that an officer observe the speed, without going through a complicated legal process.

He could contact the alleged violators and chastise them, he said, but he could not issue tickets.

Wager described the vehicle driven by the worse offender and Weeks responded that the individual has already been ticketed more than once.

Council member Keith Pennington asked if a sign that informs drivers of their speed could be posted on Locust Street. Weeks said he knew of two in the county and he might be able to borrow one.

Wager added that she appreciates the city’s efforts to have sidewalks installed in the city, noting the new walks now in place near the school.

PRISONERS—Chief Weeks, serving as Morenci Area EMS coordinator, told council that a crew of prison workers completed several maintenance projects at the EMS station. In addition to painting projects, the workers spread a quantity of donated stone for the parking area.

FIRE DEPARTMENT—Matt Higgins was approved as a new member of the fire department.

City council voted to pay for half of the cost of a new washer and dryer for fire hall, not to exceed $700. The Morenci Fire Association will pay the other half.

Department member Nick Smith was thanked for agreeing to become a CPR trainer. He will then teach the skills to Morenci department members at no cost.

REST ROOMS—The rest rooms at Wakefield Park are temporarily locked due to vandalism.

LIBRARY—Council discussed the need for a railing at  the back of the Liz Stella Annex at the library. Two people tripped recently after a library function.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool will investigate city code regulations before contacting someone to install a railing.

LEASE—Council approved a lease agreement with the Gallup brothers to farm the vacant industrial park land. The acreage will revert back to 79 acres at a cost of $130 an acre. Last year about 24 acres were taken out of the agreement due to the expected expansion of Palm Plastics.

ADMINISTRATOR—Two people have applied for the vacant residential zoning administrator job, reported Pennington. He expects a committee recommendation by the next council meeting.

  • Front.poles
    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.
  • Front.cowboy
    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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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