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.

  • 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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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.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.

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