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.

Morenci city council 01.13.10

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The next step in the proposed police station move was approved by Morenci city council members Monday after police chief Larry Weeks presented engineering plans.

Chief Weeks said he spoke with engineer Todd Dailey on several occasions to explain proposed changes in the city’s vacant building at the back of Wakefield Park.

In reviewing the changes in the office area of the building, Weeks pointed out a reception/radio room, an interrogation/interview room, a locker room for officers, an area containing desks for each full-time officer and a desk for part-time officers to share. There would also be an office for the chief and a room for holding evidence.

Weeks said it’s the area in back of the existing office area where most of the changes would occur.

A door would be added for entrance to a garage area and a storage area would be created for storage of found items such as the dozens of bicycles that have been collected.

The police department’s area would also have to be securely separated from the space that the DPW could use to store equipment. This would require a floor to ceiling wall.

In addition, a handicap-compliant restroom would be needed.

“My desire would be to get your approval to go out for bids on this,” Weeks said, “so we can really have some understanding of what it’s going to cost.”

Weeks was asked if the engineering plans include the recycling center. At previous meetings there had been talk about relocating the center to the vacant industrial space. He said that his effort has only been in relation to the police department, but his understanding is that costs for the recycling center would be minor.

Audience member Nancy Schang asked if the city has the funds to pay for the move. Mayor Keith Pennington said that’s unknown because the costs have not yet been determined. The motion being considered now, he said, is whether to seek bids to determine the costs.

“I think we’ll have more opportunity  when the bids come back to talk about whether it’s worth spending money on and where the money would come from if we have the money,” Pennington said.

The engineering drawings cost $2,600.

LEDC—Councilors voted to give permission to Morenci’s representatives on the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) to negotiate a change in the terms of a loan from the city.

The change would result in five annual payments and a loss of $2,500 on the principal balance owed.

The loan resulted from the purchase of the former M&S buildings by the LEDC. When it was discovered that environmental work was needed at the site, the LEDC asked city council to pay the cost of $22,560 to take a stake in the purchase of the buildings. Council instead agreed to a five-year, interest-free loan.

The LEDC bank note is now due, Pennington said, and the group is asking city council to extend the terms of its loan an additional three years, and allow the group to make annual payments rather than a lump-sum payment at the end. LEDC also suggested a reduction of about 10 percent in the money owed the city.

Rather than agree to the changes, council voted to negotiate any changes after the bank considers its response to the issue.

PERSONNEL—Council hired Laurie Schisler to work 17 hours a week at the city’s recycling center. The current hours for the center will remain the same. She will be paid $8 an hour and receive no benefits.

Richard Hoadley was hired as an on-call DPW worker to help out in emergencies such as snow clearing or waterline breaks. He will be paid $17 an hour.

Hoadley worked for the city for several years and will need no training, Pennington said.

 

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