End of year wrap-up 1.06.2010

Written by David Green.

The end of the year doesn't necessarily bring the end to a local issue. The following review covers some of news stories from 2009 that haven’t yet reached a conclusion. A few of them also appeared in the 2008 review.

• What about Morenci’s sidewalk repair plan?

The project slowed and got a little behind schedule, said Morenci city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder. The school delayed its construction projects and didn’t install a sidewalk until summer 2009. Now, all residences but one have installed walks in the East Locust/Washington streets area near the elementary school.

Gorham Street was the next targeted area and letters were sent to eight property owners in May. At least two of them have already completed the work.

• What about the vacant Charles Fay Village building on Morenci’s Coomer Street?

The facility is currently being rehabilitated to house the senior citizen center, Dr. Gray’s medical office and the Morenci Health Center services for lab work and physical therapy. It should be open for business by March 1.

• What about Fayette’s community swimming pool?

2010 should be the third consecutive summer of no swimming at the park. No money was appropriated for costly pool repair this year. Council voted against filling it in, but an accurate estimate of repair costs is unknown.

• What about the bird on the wire?

Funny you should ask. In September we published an odd photo of a dead bird hanging by its feet from an electrical wire, south of Munson. It remained suspended for four months.

We were ready to report that it’s still there, blown back and forth by the wind, but that’s changed. It was still in place the last week of December; it’s gone the first week of January.

• What about the plan to move Morenci’s police department to the empty industrial building at the back of Wakefield Park?

Engineering prints arrived this week, Schroeder said, and she expects that city council members will consider a motion to seek bids for the project at their Jan. 11 meeting.

• What about the Medina Township proposal to obtain fire protection service from the Hudson department instead of Morenci?

The township continues to pay on its existing contract, Schroeder said, and the Morenci department continues to serve the township. She said the city has heard nothing new about the issue.

• Are Fayette’s water and sewer rates going up?

Council approved a measure to increase water rates by six percent and sewer rates by 27 percent, effective with January billing. This will move the utilities fund out of the red to a break-even position.

• What about the Ohio EPA’s plan to clean up contamination at the former Fayette Tubular Products property and adjacent land where the school stood?

The agency announced its preferred plan in August and then collected public comment on the issue. Metz said she’s waiting for publication of the comments and for the announcement of the final plan of action. An Ohio EPA spokesperson has not yet responded to the question.

• What about Morenci’s need for an updated master plan for the city?

The planning commission asked city council to budget $10,000 to hire a firm to update the plan, but council declined.

The new zoning administrator, Jacob Barnes, has considerable experience with master plans, Schroeder said, and she expects him to speak to the commission about working on an update.

• What about Fayette’s sewer project to separate storm water from septic waste?

The Ohio EPA just recently approved the village’s revised long term control plan and planning for the project begins next week, Metz said. She’s working with the federal Rural Community Assistance Program with the hope of obtaining grants and long-term loans.

• What about that rusty strip of metal at the top of the Observer office in Morenci?

Did you have to bring that up? Another year went by and it didn’t get painted.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • Funcolor
    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.
  • 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.

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