Morenci school board 2011.10.26

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

The owners of Morenci’s Whitman Crossing apartment complex took their property tax dispute to the state tribunal in Lansing and left with a judgement in their favor.

The apartment owners first presented their case at the local board of review, but failing to find support there they moved on to Lansing.

Members of the state tax tribunal supported the appeal and ordered a refund of more than $14,000 from a tax period of two years.

Morenci city council members voted Monday to transfer $14,500 from the city’s contingency fund to cover the cost of the refund. The money will be paid to the county government where the refund was issued.

SIDEWALKS—City administrator Renée Schroeder told council members that $5,823 remains in the sidewalk repair fund. The money is used to assist property owners with the cost of sidewalk repairs and replacement.

Since July, she said, the city has paid a portion of two sidewalk projects.

Three letters were sent recently to the owners of walks that need to have work completed this year. All three are the result of damage from a storm in late May.

Only one walk remains to be finished from the most recent phase of repair work. The program was initiated in 2005 following a recommendation from the planning commission. 

Planners first targeted property near the elementary school.

In 2012, property along the west side of Page Street will be addressed. In 2013, the south side of Coomer Street is planned, followed by the north side of Coomer Street the following year.

CEMETERY—Council approved the purchase of software for cemetery records costing $3,114. The software is specifically designed for cemetery records and has the capability of incorporating GIS mapping for grave location.

EQUIPMENT—Council member Leasa Slocum and city supervisor Barney Vanderpool attended a seminar about a “clean diesel” program coordinated through the state.

The program provides 50 percent of the cost of replacing older equipment with new cleaner burning units in an effort to improve air quality.

Vanderpool will apply for funds to replace the city’s backhoe and dump truck which together would cost about $200,000.

Mayor Keith Pennington noted that the program appears to be highly competitive. Morenci school district took advantage of a similar program several years ago.

RETIREMENTS—Mayor Pennington thanked council members Jason Cook, Art Erbskorn and Leasa Slocum for serving on council. The terms of all three expire next month and none sought reëlection.

“I’ve never been ashamed to say, ‘I’ve got a great council,’” Pennington said.

Schroeder said the city has accomplished a lot while they were serving, including the parking lot project that should be mostly complete this week.

  • 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.
  • 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.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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