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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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