Morenci city council 2011.08.10

Written by David Green.


Morenci city council will soon be a member short due to the impending resignation of Joe Varga.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder told councilors Monday night that Varga will be submitting a letter of resignation because he is now working Monday nights in his new job.

Varga has a little over two years yet to serve, Schroeder said. Council will appoint a new member who will serve through November 2012. The appointee will have the option of running in the 2012 election for the final year of Varga’s term.

Council members are regularly elected to a four-year term.

“It is a good opportunity to get your feet wet and learn what council is about,” mayor Keith Pennington said. “Anyone who’s interested in giving it a try should let us know.”

FESTIVAL—Another opportunity to volunteer exists with the Town and Country Festival committee.

City treasurer Crystal White, who is a member of the committee, reported that festival committee chair Sue Snyder is stepping down.

Snyder served in the position for five years and is ready for someone else to take a turn. Snyder said she is willing to help the new person learn the job, and she will still coordinate with the rodeo group that comes to the festival.

White said the festival made a profit this year, which includes a 50/50 split with the Eagles’ beer tent. The festival should receive more than $800 from the beer sales.

White said the festival committee recently reviewed what went right and what didn’t from the 2011 event. They have some ideas for changes in 2012, but a final decision might depend on the new coordinator.

TREES—Schroeder told council the city has until Aug. 19 to apply for a tree planting grant from Consumers Energy. If the city received the maximum grant of $3,000, about 30 trees could be purchased.

Trees must be planted along city streets or on city property, and the grant can’t be used to replace cut trees. Schroeder suggested that council might want to use the grant for planting trees in the parking lot projects. There are several “green areas” incorporated in the design to give a break from the pavement.

LIGHTS—Council has discussed the placement of new light poles for the south parking lot, but in the end it was decided to allow the project engineer to work with the contractor in determining placement.

  • 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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