Morenci city council 2011.10.12

Written by David Green.


Morenci mayor Keith Pennington has seen little action on sidewalk repair following a storm in late May, and he urged city council members Monday to give property owners a push.

“I think we ought to contact these property owners and make them aware of the matching funds that are available if they choose to get them done quickly,” Pennington said

He added that council should be prepared to have the city do the work without the cost share program if property owners don’t take action. He’s concerned about missing sections of sidewalk that will become even more of a hazard when snow covers the ground.

The severe storm that blew through May 29 toppled many trees in the city, and some of those lifted sidewalk sections when they fell.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder said she would send a letter and application form for city assistance to inform property owners that the city will pay $7 a running foot. If the owners fail to make repairs, city code calls for the city to have the work done and the cost added to the property tax bill—without the city contributing to the cost.

Schroeder said the next phase of repair in the city-wide plan is along Page Street as an effort continues to have walks repaired or installed near the schools.

Council member Tracy Schell asked if there were sufficient funds to help with both storm repair and work along Page Street.

“I consider this to be a priority,” Pennington said about the storm repair, and Schell agreed.

Schroeder said she will have a financial report about the sidewalk fund for the next council meeting.

PARKING LOT—The mayor asked if the DPW should remove the remaining signs along the west side of the fire department that call for reserved parking for fire department members.

Pennington said the parking is now improved alongside the fire department, plus there are now seven additional parking spots on the west side of Baker Street. 

Schell said she sees no reason to take them down. She said it’s fine with her to have parking reserved for the fire department.

Fire department member Delbert McClain said he doesn’t expect that people would park in those spaces, however, he does think the striping for parking spots is slanted the wrong way since the majority of firefighters are turning off Main Street. He doesn’t expect that fire personnel will take the time to park properly.

Angled parking was chosen to make the spaces longer to accommodate large pickup trucks, Pennington said. He said the angle has to follow the lane of traffic.

Councilor Jason Cook said he can’t imagine that parking tickets would be issued during an emergency.

LANDSCAPING—Council met in a special meeting last Wednesday morning to approve the low, combined bid from T&R Total Lawn Care and R&W Nursery for the addition of topsoil in the landscape areas of the new parking lots. The cost is not to exceed $6,000.

At the Monday meeting, council approved R&W’s low bid to provide trees, shrubs and perennials in the landscape areas at a cost of $23,314. Three other bids came in as high as $29,200.

Midwest Energy will donate a bench, manufactured by Roth Fabricating, to be placed somewhere in the new parking lot.

In the north parking lot next to Johnson Hardware, concrete work could begin this week if final survey work is completed.

ELECTION—Inspectors for the Nov. 8 election are Gail Johnson, chair; Joyce Woerner and Tonia Hoffman.

LIBRARY—Council approved additional three-year terms for Stair Public Library  board members Sally Kruger and Mike Gillen.

LAND—Council members had no interest in taking ownership of a landlocked parcel of land off Weston Road. The property owner offered it to the city to take it off the tax roll.

  • 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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