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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • 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.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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