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.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
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    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
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    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.
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    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.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.

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