Morenci city council 03.30.2011

Written by David Green.

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.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • 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.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.

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