Morenci city council 09.15.2010

Written by David Green.

Morenci city council members voted Monday to move forward with demolition of the former Grange building and the abandoned house to the south. Demolition of the Dunbar Auction House will be decided later.

The city hasn’t yet acquired the Dunbar property on North Street, pending the environmental inspection of the former automotive dealer and repair shop.

Mayor Keith Pennington pointed out that the city won’t know the terms of cleanup procedures at the North Street property until the environmental work is completed.

“The quicker we get the house down the better,” said councilor Leasa Slocum.

Some windows and doors were removed by the prior owners, and city superintendent Barney Vanderpool said that liability issues could arise.

Council voted unanimously to seek advice on drafting bid documents which are expected to be ready for the Sept. 27 meeting.

The Morenci Fire Department was given permission to use the two Orchard Street structures for training purposes. Officer Brad Lonis said the department will take of securing the house since they will be using it.

Training for the Morenci department is planned Sept. 21, Sept. 28 and Oct. 3. Training with other departments is scheduled from Oct. 14-17. Because Morenci is serving as the host site, any of its department members will be able to attend the training for free. The cost for the training program is now $130 a person.

SEWER—The sewer use fee will increase to $2.37 per thousand gallons used, up from $2.29 currently. In the two previous years the fee was set at $2.47 and $2.65.

The fee is established to create a fund for sewer system maintenance.

FESTIVAL—Morenci Town and Country representatives attended the meeting to seek approval on three contracts for next summer’s event.

Council approved a two-year contract for a rodeo at a cost of $6,500 a year.

Sue Snyder said she noticed a difference in festival attendance when the rodeo was scheduled compared to the previous year when there was none. She expects greater participation from contestants, too, when the event is repeated year after year. The rodeo made a profit for the festival this year.

Council tabled approval of an alcohol permit because an error has the sponsor listed as the festival committee instead of the Morenci Eagles.

Police chief Larry Weeks said that from a police perspective, he was not aware of any problems with the Eagles’ beer tent at the last festival.

A fireworks contract was also tabled until the price is investigated. Snyder said she was expecting another $5,000 charge, but $5,250 is listed on the contract.

Mayor Pennington said he appreciates the committee’s efforts in getting contracts arranged early. He also wondered if the committee had considered a laser show instead of fireworks. He’s read that several communities have gone that route.

MUSIC—Council will allow “Music in the Park” to continue through the fall in order to solicit opinions of neighboring residents while council considers an ordinance change to make such gatherings fit city law.

Groups will be allowed to perform at Wakefield Park until 9 p.m.

“I don’t have a problem with it as long as we have a mechanism to put a stop to it if it becomes disruptive,” Weeks said.

HALLOWEEN—Council approved use of Wakefield Park for a Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce children’s party the week before Halloween. The event is scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Oct. 23.

Trick-or-treat hours will remain on Halloween, Oct. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m. Halloween is on a Sunday this year.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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