Morenci city council 2011.08.24

Written by David Green.

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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.

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