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

  • 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.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • 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.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Fayette village council 10.06

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

When Fayette’s tax administrator Dee Potter decides to retire, the duties covered by her might be turned over to an outside agency.

The council’s Finance Committee met last month with a representative from the Regional Income Tax Association (RITA) to learn about the organization’s services.

RITA serves as the income tax collection agency for 177 Ohio municipalities through the Regional Council of Governments. Currently, Swanton and Metamora are the only RITA members in Fulton County.

In addition to collecting taxes, RITA offers litigation services, online payment options, a free on-site representative to assist taxpayers during tax season, tax code recommendations and more.

By phasing out the tax administrator job, a rough estimate suggests savings of about $30,000 annually.

Committee member Tommy Molitierno expressed concern about an increase in the workload for existing village hall employees. He suggested that the tax administrator keep a log of daily activities to help the committee decide the feasibility of joining RITA.

Village administrator Amy Metz said six months is the typical lead-in time for a community to begin working with RITA, but a small government such as Fayette could be on-line yet this year.

BILLS—Metz told council at the Sept. 21 meeting that the village is getting very strict on the collection of water payments. She said it isn’t uncommon to find several postcards on a residence warning about a possible service shutoff.

Metz said that alternatives are suggested, including financial assistance, and payment schedules are encouraged. But if scheduled payments aren’t made, water service will be shut off.

Outstanding utility accounts are being assessed on property tax statements.

UNEMPLOYMENT—Metz learned that unemployment in Fulton County dropped from 12.6 percent a year ago to 9.7 percent in August.

In Williams County, the rated dropped from 15.8 percent to 11.8 percent in August. Statewide, only a small decline was posted.

ELECTRICITY—Village project engineer Bob Seigneur compared five potential electrical suppliers, but only two presented offers.

Duke Energy offered power at 6.3 cents a kilowatt hour on a nine-month term. The village’s current supplier, First Energy Solutions, offered rates ranging from 6.7 cents to 8.2 cents on a nine-year term. First Energy offers a six percent discount for residential users and a four percent discount for industrial users on the generation and transmission portion of a customer’s bill.

MEETING—Council voted 4-0, with Molitierno and Mike Maginn absent, to continue committee of the whole meetings at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month, through the end of the year. The regular council meeting follows on the third Tuesday of the month, at 7 p.m.

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