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

  • 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.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • 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.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Fayette village council 2012.01.04

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette village council members emerged from a closed session last week and voted to hold salaries for employees at the 2011 rate.

Council met in a closed session for about 45 minutes, but before it ended, mayor Ruth Marlatt was asked to leave the room. Last month, Marlatt was not allowed to attend a closed session at all.

Council member Rodney Kessler called for the closed meeting to discuss a personnel issue, stating the meeting was for “all elected officials, and then we’ll go from there.”

When councilors came back into the public meeting, Mayor Marlatt explained that no salary increases would be given to start the new year. The motion to increase salaries was tabled and would be discussed again after three months.

“It’s being postponed mainly because of what happened when Roberta was here,” councilor Julia Ruger said, referring to Roberta Acosta from the Rural Community Assistance Program.

Acosta spoke at the Dec. 14 committee-of-the-whole meeting and told council members that funding possibilities for the sewer separation project took a turn for the worse.

“We want to see where we are in three months,” Ruger said, noting that the long-term sewer control plan remains a worrisome issue for council.

Marlatt said it’s not that council doesn’t want to give pay increases.

Village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver said the salaries of most employees come from the general fund and are not affected by the sewer project.

The salary increase would have resulted in  three percent raises for Zuver, Dee Potter and police officers.

PARKS—Nicholas Ramos was hired to serve as the park director for 2012. The park board will determine his salary.

BLEACHERS—Fayette’s park bleachers could be in for an overhaul if council accepts a proposal from Pioneer Boy Scout Joseph Stough.

For an Eagle Scout project, Stough would like to direct an effort to disassemble and repair the bleachers and paint them in the school colors.

Stough said he will undertake fund-raising to pay for the work.

Marlatt said the project sounds beneficial to the community and she would present the plan to the park committee.

ZONING—Suzette Boesger was appointed to fill a vacant position on the zoning board.

AUDIT—Council approved an expenditure of $400 for assistance with the annual audit. Zuver said the auditing firm of Perry and Associates was assigned to handle the village audit. She was pleased with the news since that firm was her first choice.

AUTOCON—Council approved a contract with Bergren and Associates for the water plant automatic control system.

INSURANCE—The Hylant Group (The Ohio Plan) was selected to serve as the village insurance carrier.

SOLICITOR—A motion to hire Tom Thompson as the village solicitor for 2012 did not come up for a vote. Instead the issue will go to the Government Affairs committee.

SEWAGE—Heavy rains increased the amount of sewage pumped in recent weeks. Average daily water use was 134,000 gallons, said interim village administrator Tom Clemensen, while daily sewage pumped averaged 280,000 gallons.

Cleaning sewer lines and connecting residences to the new NW Fulton Project line has been delayed by wet weather.

TAX REVENUE—Income tax collected so far this year stands at $307,500, Clemensen said. Last year’s collection ended at $283,100. The increase, he said, is likely due to the expansion at the TRW plant.

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