By DAVID GREEN
It’s not often that a municipality will remove a tax early, said Morenci mayor Keith Pennington, that action was approved by city council May 24.
City property owners began paying an annual assessment for the combined sewer overflow project in 1992—just as the 1963 sewer project was finally paid off—and there were two years of payments still on the schedule.
Sufficient funds have been collected to pay off the debt, Pennington told council members, and he urged council to stop the assessment.
The move should save taxpayers about $120 from their summer tax bill this year and next.
If the time comes in the future when additional taxes are needed for a project, Pennington said, he hopes they remember this time when council gave taxpayers a break.
MUSIC—Council discussed the Chamber of Commerce request to play music downtown every day all summer.
Downtown apartment dweller Cheryl Cowgill said she found it offensive to have music playing as loud as it was in December.
“It’s my home,” she said. “You wouldn’t want me blasting my music into your home for 11 hours a day.”
Councilor Tracy Schell said she enjoys the music, but since concerns were raised, she suggested allowing the music only for special events. It shouldn’t be considered special just because it’s Friday, she said.
Pennington added that it would be left to the Chamber’s discretion and played at an appropriate volume.
Art Erbskorn voted against the proposal.
ALCOHOL—The Morenci Eagles club agreed to a special use permit for a beer tent at the Morenci Town and Country Festival.
FIBER OPTICS—A representative from D&P Cable told council he read in a recent Observer about effort to bring a fiber optics line to the city. He said his company has had a line into the city for several years. Although the company has focussed on residential customers, changes in technology makes it more affordable for small business customers.
EMS—Council approved a 10 percent increase in the annual assessment charged for ALS ambulance service.