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.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • 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.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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