Morenci city council 2011.06.22

Written by David Green.


Morenci city council members are seeking additional information before making a decision on whether or not to sign onto the Lenawee County Hazard Mitigation Plan.

An employee of the Region 2 Planning Commission is working with government units in Lenawee, Hillsdale and Jackson counties to reduce potential hazards.

A survey last fall sought information on the leading hazards in each community and township to identify hazards with the greatest potential of causing a negative impact on residents and property.

A letter from Region 2 points out that implementation of the plan is voluntary. Agreeing to participate in the plan still does not obligate a community to put the plan into action. Participation does enable a community to be eligible for funding for specific projects through FEMA’s Hazard Mitigation Grant program.

General strategies of the Region 2 plan include:

• enhanced public information and education to create a more informed public;

• the incorporation of hazard mitigation planning in community master planning, assuring a review every five years when communities review and update their master plan;

• planning for debris clearing management, and establishing staging areas for debris and snow;

• promoting mutual aid agreements to avoid duplicating services.

Specific mitigation strategies were developed for each of the 13 potential hazards identified for Lenawee County, including extreme temperatures, winter and summer storms, flooding, drought and hazardous materials incidents.

Burying electric and telephone lines is recommended to address hazards such as ice storms and lightning. Fighting potential losses from hail include the use of window shutters, laminated glass and hail-resistant shingles.

To prepare for wind storms, the “use of appropriate wind engineering measures and construction techniques” is suggested, along with anchoring manufactured homes and exterior structures. Construction of concrete safe rooms is recommended in homes, and shelter areas are recommended at mobile home parks, fairgrounds, shopping malls, etc.

Each strategy was analyzed to determine cost, benefit and implementation potential. Top priorities are:

• installing smoke detectors;

• identifying flood plains;

• developing local ordinances regarding hazardous materials;

• making an inventory of hazardous materials.

Medium priority is listed for:

• identifying shelters for snowstorms;

• increasing public awareness of Miss DIG;

• installing lightning protection devices;

• enforcing local building codes to prevent structural fires;

• identifying structures in flood plains;

• promoting the importance of wetlands as natural retention basins;

• developing water rationing plans;

• training for hazardous material handling.

Morenci mayor Keith Pennington mentioned several questions he has about the program, such as learning if the program would require standards in excess of the city’s existing regulations for building codes, for example.

PARKING—Morenci’s parking lot renovation project is expected to begin in mid-July. Mayor Pennington said that demolition of the Dunbar building will likely be complete by then and the city will consider tackling the entire project—on the south side of the business district and also north of Johnson’s Hardware—at one time to save some money. Due to a delay in the Dunbar demolition, the city’s engineering firm expected the project might have to be done in two segments.

Pennington was told the project should be completed within eight weeks.

COMPUTERS—Council voted to accept a one-year contract for computer maintenance service with IT Services at a cost of $2,000. In addition, the firm will provide off-site data storage for $500. The contract covers all the city’s computers with the exception of the library. The library could be included in the contract for an additional $1,000 per year.

CONTRACTS—Approval of employment agreements with department heads was tabled due to a question with one of the contracts.

  • 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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • 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.

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