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.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • 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.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

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