Morenci city council 12.23.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci residents will see Consumers Energy trucks moving into town next year to complete upgrades on the main electrical line serving customers.

Barb Mitzel of Consumers’ Adrian office told city council Dec. 14 that the 46,000 volt high voltage distribution line from Dowling Highway near Hudson to Morenci is being rebuilt.

Four and a half miles of the line are already complete, she said, and anyone driving north of Morenci on M-156 probably noticed the work last summer. About five miles of the line have yet to be rebuilt.

“The purpose is to improve reliability,” Mitzel said.

Lines will deteriorate over the years, she said, and lead to outages.

The work will also address some right-of-way concerns and will enable the company to handle repair issues more quickly in the future.

In Morenci, new poles will be positioned in the vicinity of Mill, Union and Locust streets, leading to the substation. None of the new wiring will pass above any residences.

Mitzel was asked if the new wiring would increase capacity. After checking with an engineer later in the week, she learned that the wire size will be increased to allow for more capacity. If a large energy user located in Morenci, more electricity would be available, she said.

The upgrade does not affect the electrical shortage in the industrial park, however, because Consumers isn’t the provider. The city chose Midwest Energy to serve the industrial park.

Mitzel said she came to the council meeting to let the community know that changes are coming.

“We’re part of the community and a big part of their every day lives,” she said.

PLANNERS—Rebecca Berger was appointed to fill a vacancy on the planning commission. John Van Havel, who also volunteered, was first nominated, but failed to gain support in a 3-4 vote.

SNOW—Council accepted a bid from T&R Total Lawn Care for the removal of snow from walks where the owner failed to get the job done. T&R submitted the only bid, but city supervisor Barney Vanderpool was satisfied with their work. T&R will charge $17 a walk.

Vanderpool said responses to uncleared walks will be based on complaints. City employees will not patrol the town for uncleared walks.

PART-TIME—Council voted to hire two part-time employees. One will work at the recycling center for 17 hours a week. The other will serve on a call-in basis for general DPW work. The worker could assist in snow removal or other chores where extra help is needed.

BUDGET—City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder told council that property tax revenue is predicted to drop by an average of five percent in Michigan (a possible loss of $30,000 for Morenci). She was told that state revenue sharing could decline by a similar amount.

The city’s budgeted contingency fund is about the same as the projected decrease, she said, and the situation will need careful monitoring.

LEDC—Council member Greg Braun will take former mayor Doug Erskin’s place on the Lenawee Economic Development Committee.

MEETING—The Dec. 28 council meeting was canceled. The next regular meeting is Jan. 11.

  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.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.

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