Morenci city council 9.16.09

Written by David Green.

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.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
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    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.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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