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.

Fayette village council 10.28.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette’s water and sewer service is expected to stay out of the red next year after council members approved a rate increase last week.

A six percent increase in water rates coupled with a 27 percent increase in sewer rates was approved unanimously Thursday, with Mike Maginn and Craig Rower absent from the meeting.

Village administrator Amy Metz has pushed in the past for a rate increase to keep the funds from losing money, but an effort in June was voted down.

A past proposal would have brought in enough cash to bring the funds into the black, as well as put money into the maintenance fund. The measure passed last week will allow the funds to break even, Metz said, but not contribute to maintenance, replacement and emergencies.

Dr. Thomas Brown, a guest from the Northwest Ohio Mayors and Managers Association, spoke to council members about the tough decisions needed to keep municipal services operating.

When he was mayor of Port Clinton, Brown said the decision was made to double water and sewer rates to stop sewer overflows and to add a four percent increase in the maintenance fund.

Brown said he has many state and federal contacts from his days of serving as an aide to Sen. Paul Gillmor and he will continue to help Fayette obtain federal funds for its sewer work.

CAR WASH—Council voted 5-0 to terminate a 10 percent water discount for Eagle Car Wash.

Mark Pilbeam, co-owner of the car wash, asked council to continue the discount, noting that he uses about 10,000 gallons of water a month and is often forced to leave water running in the cold weather to prevent freezing. He told council that the discounted water rates provide more income for the village than if the business discontinues operation.

Council member Jerry Gonzales said he didn’t think a small community could continue to subsidize the car wash. Councilor Paul Shaffer said he considered the discount as start-up help when the business opened, but not a permanent rate.

Council president Ruth Marlatt said she appreciates the business being in town and she would pay an extra dollar for a wash, if necessary.

Council decided to give Pilbeam until the end of March 2010 to erect a fence at the back of the car wash, as stated in village zoning law when a commercial business abuts a residence. The renter in the house behind the car wash has requested the erection of a fence.

“I just want to be sure you understand,” Metz told council. “We’ve already given him time. We gave him all summer.”

ZONING—Council approved a change in zoning from commercial to residential at the corner of S. Cherry and Main Street. No one attended a hearing on the issue.

Jacob Barnes was appointed to fill a vacancy on the zoning board.

OEPA—Village utilities director Bob Seigneur is composing a letter to send to the Ohio EPA proposing a major change to the village’s long term control plan. The plan is designed to eliminate illegal overflows of sewage into streams.

The new plan would eliminate Phase I because it is completed; eliminate Phase II, construction of a new sewage treatment plant; and move Phase III from 2017 ahead to 2010. Phase III addresses the remaining combined sewer overflow issues and calls for the separation of storm water from septic sewage lines. This will prevent a heavy precipitation event from flushing sewage into streams.

LEAVES—Metz requests that residents not blow or place leaves onto the street where they will often clog storm drains, sewer lines and lift stations.

Due to the concern about the build up of leaves in the sewer, village workers will begin collecting leaves Monday.

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