The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
  • Front.homecoming Court
  • Cheer
  • Front.park.lights
  • Front.pull
  • Front.ropes
  • Front.sculpt
  • Front.tar.wide
  • Front.toss
  • Front.walk Across

Fayette village council 2011.11.02

Written by David Green.


A pair of closed Fayette council sessions resulted in a decision to hire an interim village administrator following the resignation of Amy Metz.

In officially announcing her resignation to take a new job in the Fulton County Commissioners office, Metz recommended that council appoint the new maintenance supervisor, Tom Clemensen, as an interim administrator. She suggested that Clemensen should fill the post for 60 days until council makes a decision how on to fill the position permanently.

“I think we need a contact person immediately,” she said. 

Fayette mayor Ruth Marlatt said that sounded like a good idea, but she needs some time to think it over since Clemensen just recently started in his role as maintenance supervisor. 

Clemensen already handles most of the complaints coming in, Metz said. She’s spoken with other village employees about assuming some of her duties, but she thinks there needs to be someone in place to keep things moving forward.

“And it isn’t a part-time position,” Metz said about her job. She’s heard talk about making the job part-time with a new employee.

“I don’t know if it’s a good idea to have nobody in charge,” said council member David Borer.

At that point councilor Rodney Kessler called for a closed meeting and Julia Ruger insisted that it would be only for council members, plus attorney Tom Thompson. Eventually, Mayor Marlatt was called to join the group, and after about 30 minutes of the closed session, Metz was asked to call Clemensen to see if he could attend the meeting. 

Council then returned to an open session to discuss other matters until Clemensen arrived. After a second closed meeting with Clemensen, council returned to the regular meeting and voted unanimously to hire Clemensen as interim administrator in addition to his regular job. His pay would be based on an annual salary of $34,000.

At the Nov. 9 committee of the whole meeting, council will discuss advertising for a new administrator.

Council member Mike Maginn thanked Metz for her service as administrator, adding, “you’ve left fairly big shoes to fill.”

Metz said she intends to help make it an easy transition with the new administrator.

GAMBLE ROAD—Metz said the Gamble Road widening project was put on hold Monday after workers discovered the lack of an aggregate base under the old pavement, primarily east of the main school drive.

The problem was discovered when the old pavement was ground down in preparation for resurfacing.

Adding a new base in certain areas would require the village to pay nearly $30,000 more.

“I say we do it right and get it done,” Ruger said, noting that this explains why that section of the road often breaks up.

Village financial officer Lisa Zuver recommended paying the extra amount from the road fund rather than taking out a loan.

Metz said the county commissioners would have to approve the change and then the construction company would continue the work.

SIDEWALKS—Council voted to exclude three areas from sidewalk repair, agreeing with the sidewalk commission that it wasn’t practical in those areas.

The surface feature of the land beyond Van Zile’s and Keisers on West Main Street was granted a variance, along with the Morrison property north of Cruiser’s on N. Fayette Street. Cruiser’s sign stands where the walk would go.

The TRW property was also excluded due to the layout of the property.

If circumstances change, such as future development, council could reconsider the variances in each location. Council will  discuss the next step in sidewalk repair at a future meeting.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS—Metz listed several accomplishments of the staff and council during her three and one-half years on the job, including:

• a 22 percent reduction in the budget from 2007 to 2012;

• development of five-year maintenance plans for streets, trees and sidewalks;

• approval of the Long Term Control Plan for the sewer separation project;

• a summer lunch program for children;

• an active youth summer recreation program that showed an enrollment increase of nearly 40 percent in 2011 from 2010;

•  renewed commitment from TRW;

• completion of phase 1 of the sewer project in 2009 through ARRA funding of $118,000;

• a change in the sewer project calling for the installation of new sanitary sewer lines rather than storm lines to guarantee no future overflows;

• completion of the design phase of the sewer project in December 2011, with 50 percent of the cost covered by a grant;

• completion of the NW Fulton Street Project, with about 50 percent covered by a grant;

• expected completion of the Gamble Road widening project with $170,000 in grants;

• reception of an $80,000 grant from the Ohio Department of Development for the West Industrial Parkway project;

• a review and revision of the entire zoning code and tax code;

• starting the formulation of a building code;

• updating the Comprehensive Plan for economic development, with final revisions still pending;

• economic growth in the retail and manufacturing sector;

• improving communication through a quarterly newsletter and a current website that’s constantly being updated.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2015