Morenci city council 2011.07.13

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The final building targeted for demolition for Morenci’s parking lot rebuilding project should be on the ground by the end of July.

City council approved Monday a bid from Best Demolition of Saginaw to tear down the former Dunbar Auction House on North Street, just south of the Observer office.

Council approved the low bid of $23,200, plus any additional costs that may arise as the project proceeds. Scott Merillat, the city’s engineer for the project, examined the bid and recommended accepting it.

Eight firms bid on the job, said mayor Keith Pennington, and the four lowest submitted bids that were quite close.

Demolition is expected to begin about July 27 and is to be completed by Aug. 5. The parking lot project on the south side of Main Street should get underway next week, with equipment being moved in Thursday.

Additional details about the project are listed in another story in this week’s Observer.

FIRE DEPARTMENT—Austin VanBrandt was accepted as the newest member of the Morenci Fire Department.

Six new pagers will be ordered as the department begins to replace the existing models. The new pagers will meet the requirements for narrow band reception.

POLICE—The police contract has expired, Mayor Pennington said, and negotiations continue. The city is working to comply with new state laws and to keep aware of pending legislation.

Negotiations are also challenged, he said, because the city has already established its spending plan for the year. To give officers more than what was budgeted would necessitate cutting someone else’s budget.

OPERATIONS—Discussion will continue regarding a possible change that would have department heads reporting to the city administrator. This would allow certain decisions to be made by one person rather than having to involve communication between a city council committee and a department head, or between two department heads.

Pennington said the issue is being discussed with department heads to see if they think it would improve services to citizens.

RECYCLING—The city received another $1,000 donation from Seneca Township this year in support of the city’s recycling center.

FINANCES—Treasurer Crystal White told council that year-end city finances are looking good, but there are still some outstanding transactions. She will have a more thorough report by the end of the month.

White reminds citizens that taxes can now be paid on-line, however, a three percent service charge will be applied.

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