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.

Morenci receives good audit report 12.01.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council heard nothing but positive news from the annual audit presented Nov. 22.

CPA Philip Rubley told council that, as of June 30, 2010, city finances were in the best shape in many years.

“It’s probably the best position I’ve seen the city in in a long, long time,” he said. “This is a very good report.”

Revenue dropped, but expenses also went down in nearly every category. Expenses were held to within $6,000 of the previous year, Rubley said. He added that this was the closest he’s ever seen the city in regard to anticipated and actual spending.

The city’s general fund stood with a fund equity of $267,212, boosted by an excess of $112,342 from the past fiscal years.

“That’s the good news of the night,” Rubley said. “The last two years you’ve taken your fund equity position—which I thought was compromised and in jeopardy—and brought it up to a strong position.”

The auditor recommends savings equal to three months of operating expenses to cover unexpected financial challenges, and the city is close to that.

Rubley told council this is the closest he’s ever seen proposed expenditures match up with actual spending, through almost every category. Revenue dropped by about $14,000, but less money was expected and budgeted accordingly.

The budget called for a year-end fund balance of $219,000, but ended $47,296 better.

“This is really very good,” Rubley said.

But did you do the things that you needed to do with the resources available? That’s the key to success, he said. It’s easy to have an excess if needs are not taken care of.

STREETS—The local street fund generally never has enough money, Rubley said, but Morenci’s look strong. The major street fund is also in a strong position.

FIRE—The department benefitted from $92,530 in grants and shows an equity of $28,012 for equipment purchases.

EMS—There have been problems in that fund, but it’s really improved substantially and appears to be on track.

The key is to successfully collect receipts from third parties. The administration needs to keep on top of the issue.

At the end of the fiscal year, the EMS showed an excess of $97,542, based on what was billed.

“This is the best position I’ve seen since it started,” Rubley said.

It’s very good, he said, with caution.

UTILITIES—Utility funds often show a deficit, he said, but there’s an equity of $109,000.

“These costs are under control and your revenue stream is good,” Rubley said. “I think you’re sitting in very good shape. To be in the positive is extraordinary.”

Rubley also praised the city’s accounting system as operating well.

Morenci mayor Keith Pennington welcomed the good news, but he reminded council that it’s for the past year. New expenses are coming and some revenue streams might go down, so council will need to remain cautious  and vigilant despite the healthy fund equity.

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