Morenci city council 2011.08.24

Written by David Green.


Morenci city council members voted Monday add a part-time office position at city hal. The post will be filled by the person who’s been helping out at city hall on an on-call basis.

Council voted unanimously to hire Leasa Slocum to the permanent part-time position of office assistant. She will work 24 hours a week at a starting wage of $8.75 an hour, starting Nov. 2.

Slocum, who serves as a city council member, was absent from the meeting. She isn’t seeking another term on council and the job will begin as her elected term ends.

Eight qualified candidates were interviewed, said council member Tracy Schell, but Slocum’s previous experience in the office made her the best choice.

In the fall election, Jeff Bell, Brenda Spiess and Rebecca Berger filed petitions to fill the three seats that will be vacated by Slocum, Jason Cook and Art Erbskorn.

Council is currently accepting letters of interest to fill a councilor position recently vacated by Joe Varga who resigned due to a change in his work schedule.

Mayor Keith Pennington thanked Varga for his service with the city, and he also expressed appreciation to Sue Snyder who has served as Town and County Festival committee chair for five years.

PROPERTY—Council voted to accept the updated International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) that the city uses. The update covers changes made in the 2009 edition of the document.

The city follows the IPMC with the exception of the section pertaining to grass and weed regulations. The city has its own ordinance for that.

PARKING LOT—Council learned that Consumers Energy will move a utility pole in the new North Street parking area at no cost to the city. A clause in the easement calls for the utility company to move a pole in the case of construction.

At the advice of the city engineer, council hired TTL Associates for quality testing of the parking lot project. The engineer will determine what tests to order.

TRAINING—Morenci Area EMS coordinator Larry Weeks will seek a grant to help pay for EMT training in Morenci.

AMBULANCE—Council accepted the bid from LifeStar Rescue for a new ambulance. LifeStar was the only company of four that were contacted to return a bid.

The ambulance will be paid for by a $130,000 federal grant plus funds from Morenci Area EMS savings ($145,33 total) without taking out a loan.

Weeks noted that he’s seen prices range from $160,000 to $180,000 for recent ambulance purchases in the area. One difference in the lower cost of Morenci’s new vehicle is the choice of a gasoline engine rather than diesel. That cut the cost by about $20,000.

Weeks said gas engines are not typically used by Lenawee County agencies, although they’re quite common in many areas including Fulton County.

VIDEO—Council approved a budgeted purchase of new in-car video systems for two police cruisers. The two units cost $10,175. The police equipment fund will be used to cover the installation cost.

SEARCHERS—Weeks said the Shiawassee County Search and Rescue group was in town for the seventh time since the initial training session. The volunteers were again unsuccessful in tracking down any clues in the case of the missing Skelton brothers.

AID—Council approved a request by fire chief Chad Schisler to accept the updated county mutual aid agreement.

  • 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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