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

  • 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.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.
  • 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.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Morenci fire dept. seeks used aerial truck 2009.09.30

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

For more than three months Morenci Fire Department members have evaluated the purchase of a used aerial truck from Archbold and now they’re ready to make an offer.

That decision received city council’s blessings Monday night with only one dissenting vote.

If Archbold accepts the offer, Morenci’s department will be the new owners of a nearly 35-year-old vehicle with an 85-foot tower. The truck has had only 130 hours of use over the 35 years that Archbold owned it.

Fire chief Chad Schisler said the department would make two $7,500 payments over the next two years, with money coming from savings, donations and fund-raising, and by deferring a $3,500 purchase of other equipment.

Council member Keith Pennington, who cast the lone “no” vote, admitted it was an excellent price for expensive fire equipment.

“I’m more concerned about the on-going costs,” he said.

Insurance and maintenance would add $3,000 to the department’s budget annually, he said, and repairs would increase that amount.

Archbold used the unit an average of less than four hours a year, he noted, and part of that was for training and testing.

“If Archbold didn’t use it much, how would we?” he asked.

Fire officer Brad Lonis said the truck would be used as a third pumper. There are 65 structures in the city limits where an aerial truck could be used, but if it were used only for that purpose, it would sit unused most of the time, he said.

“We plan to use it,” he added.

Lonis said the truck also contain loose ladders valued at $8,000.

“Archbold’s maintenance program is top notch,” he said. “It’s 35 years old, but it’s practically brand new.”

Lonis and department member Bob Mohr emphasized that the unit would make fire-fighting saver for the crew by keeping them off roofs and by providing addition water.

Schisler said there will have to be an increase on the fire department’s budget to handle the new maintenance and insurance costs.

“We have only one pot,” Pennington responded, “and when we give more to the fire department, it has to come from somewhere else.”

Pennington said the city is already under fire from one township board that thinks the city spends too much on fire protection.

Audience member Shane Sarnac suggested that if the department discovers in the future that necessary funding isn’t available, the truck could be sold to “end the bleeding pretty quickly.”

Pennington voted against making an offer for the purchase and councilor Greg Braun was absent from the meeting.

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