Morenci city council 2011.07.13

Written 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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  • 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.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.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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