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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.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.

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