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.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • 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.

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