By DAVID GREEN
Morenci city council members heard a second reading of a proposed ordinance change to allow the sale of liquor on Sundays.
The measure was introduced to council as three readings to allow public comment on the issue. Council is expected to vote on the proposal at the April 11 meeting.
City law currently prohibits the sale of liquor on Sundays, but a recent change in state law cleared the way for Sunday sales. If council were to approve the change, the city would conform to state law.
Bob Borchardt, a co-owner of Borchardt Brothers Market in Morenci, urges councilors to make the change.
“I hate to see sales leave the city,” he said.
As Morenci’s only outlet for liquor sales, Borchardt Brothers would be required to purchase a Sunday sales permit annually.
SKELTON CASE—Morenci Chief of Police Larry Weeks told council that he bought a $1,000 package of advertising time on television station WLMB at the Skelton brothers auction.
He intends to use it to develop a commercial that would feature general information about the missing Skelton brothers and to give advice for searching for the boys with warmer weather approaching.
Weeks said Channel 13 in Toledo will help with production of the video to save the $500 production fee that would have been charged by WLMB.
When completed, he intends to transfer the video to YouTube and to speak with other broadcasters about using the information as a public service notice.
“I’m excited about it and I think it could prove helpful,” said the chief.
He looks forward to spreading information about the case in a manner that’s framed by the police department.
SOFTBALL—Council voted 4-1 to approve an alcohol permit for a softball tournament scheduled April 23. Mayor Keith Pennington opposed the permit. Art Erbskorn and Joe Varga were absent from the meeting.
Rob Bucklew told council he expects to have up to 10 teams compete in a tournament that will end by midnight. He said that proceeds from the event will go back to members of his softball team to pay for trips to tournaments over the summer.
Bucklew said the alcohol permit is essential to attract teams to a tournament, and he pointed out that tournaments bring a lot of cash into the community.
Alcohol permit requests are generally routine matters for council to consider, but this one was discussed further because some people didn’t see the benefactors as a non-profit group.
Mayor Pennington acknowledged that tournaments are good for local businesses, but he pointed out that most tournaments are run as fund-raisers for a project rather than going back into the pockets of the sponsoring team members.
City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder reminded Bucklew of a $50 clean-up fee that is returned if city workers are not required to clean the area afterward. There is also a fee charged if the field lights are used.
Bucklew said he intends to sponsor additional tournaments over the summer and he would also like to organize an adult league.
WATER TOWER—Council voted 5-0 to hire Nelson Tank and Engineering at a cost of $1,900 to clean and inspect the east side water tower.
A report from the company will determine what steps should be taken to refurbish the tower and keep it in good structural condition.