Morenci city council 2011.10.12

Written by David Green.

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.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
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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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