Morenci city council 02.03.10

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Local job growth is a priority for Morenci mayor Keith Pennington, and he urged city council members Jan. 25 to keep the thought in their minds, as well.

Pennington spoke of the ramifications of the new BioDri plant scheduled to open in Blissfield by the middle of this year. He said the benefits of the new business will extend beyond Blissfield.

“We need to keep abreast of the project and think about any ancillary business to support it,” he said. “It’s a large enough project that it will impact us all.”

The BioDri facility will separate the components of liquids, solids and gases. For example, grease could be processed for use as biofuel feedstock, and the company is expected to furnish a product for the NextDiesel plant in Adrian.

Pennington said he met recently with the leaders of all Morenci industries to learn of challenges facing them. He noted that the success of each local industry benefits everyone in the community, not just those who are employed at the businesses.

Pennington said that he and city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder recently met with Consumers Energy representatives to talk about increasing electrical capacity to the city’s industrial park.

He said the city needs to think ahead about attracting business and not wait until a prospective customer arrives.

“I’m not saying that we can do anything about it,” he said, “but at least we’re working on it.”

He’s awaiting proposals from Consumers about increased power and about energy-efficient street lighting.

Schroeder told council about a state program called Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement (ICE) that will be funded through the Community Development Block Grant program. Morenci is among the communities eligible to apply for funding.

Schroeder said she will work with the city’s engineering firm to obtain estimates of costs to repair the city’s parking lot across from city hall to the east.

The lot is in need of an upgrade which is already planned in the current budget. With the grant, however, estimates will also be made for the larger lot behind city hall.

After costs are estimated, the city’s share of the project price would be determined.

“Our match could come in less than what we were going to spend on doing just the east lot,” Schroeder said.

Any water and sewer work needed in the area could also be included in the project.

BUDGET—Pennington urged department heads to monitor spending. At this time, he said, about 60 percent of budgeted funds should have been spent.

SENECA—Election inspectors were approved for the Feb. 23 special election in Seneca Township that Morenci will oversee.

Dorothy McDowell will serve as chair, assisted by Doris Collar, Joyce Woerner, Stephanie Mossing and Renée Schroeder. The township will reimburse the city for its costs.

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • 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.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

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