The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.

Morenci EMS service assessment to increase 04.28.10

Written by David Green.


The Morenci Area EMS is faring better than ever in keeping its budget in line, reported coordinator Larry Weeks, but that doesn’t leave much money for ambulance replacement.

The EMS board is proposing a 10 percent increase in the assessment, with the additional cash placed in a fund for a new ambulance.

“We’ve done fairly well this year,” Weeks said. “We’re continuing to cut costs and use money wisely, but we cannot save enough to buy an ambulance.”

The 2003 primary ambulance has traveled 91,000 miles and the backup unit—a 1997 vehicle—has 153,000 miles of use. The 2003 model will paid off in January 2013.

Ambulance services typically use a unit for five years as the primary vehicle, then another five years as the secondary one. In areas with lower milage, such as Morenci’s situation, a vehicle may be used for 15 years. Weeks figures Morenci’s backup unit will reach 15 years before it is retire.

A 10 percent increase would cost Morenci residents and those from Seneca and Medina townships an additional $8.25 a year and $5.50 for apartment buildings and duplexes. The increase would bring in about $15,000 annually for ambulance replacement. A new vehicle costs from $120,000 to $150,000.

The increase for Morenci residents could be softened if council votes to pay off the sewer project bond early. That would reduce the tax bill by $120.

Weeks said there’s still confusion about how the ambulance service is funded. About half of the revenue comes from assessments and the other half from billing for services, either to insurance companies or directly to the user of the service.

“The special assessment only assures that the service is available,” he said, and is far short of covering the costs.

That’s why residents are billed when an ambulance is called. The cost typically varies between $500 and $1,200, depending on the service given.

Many communities fund the ambulance service through a millage that covers the majority of costs. Morenci’s system places less of the cost on taxpayers and more on the user.

Although Weeks is proud of how he and staff members have found ways to cut costs—this is the first budget year when borrowing wasn’t needed—he has concerns about finances due to the economy.

“Revenues are anticipated to decline due to high levels of unemployment and reduced health insurance benefits to so many people,” he said.

He will begin exploring grant possibilities to cover the cost of a new ambulance, but failing that, an increase in the assessment is the only option.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015