Morenci city council.2 2012.01.11

Written by David Green.

Morenci continues to move toward the top of the list for funding to replace the East Main Street bridge.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder learned last week that the city was not chosen in the current funding cycle, but she was told the city was number five on the list of 60 applications. Only the top three were chosen.

The state inspector has observed the condition of the bridge over recent years and pointed out some deterioration and the eventual need for replacement. the bridge was constructed in 1941.

City superintendent Barney Vanderpool said the weight limits were not changed last year, but he expects they might be lowered again after the next inspection.

If the city receives funding next year, replacement would be scheduled in 2015.

BEER AND WINE—City council voted 5-2 to approve a license for the sale of beer and wine by the Dollar General store. Store employees trained in the sale of alcohol, said a district manager at the council meeting, and monitored closely.

Police chief Larry Weeks said the application first passes through his office, but also needs council approval. He found no reason to reject the application.

Mayor Keith Pennington and council member Robert Jennings opposed the license for the store.

ALPINE—Council voted 7-0 to reject an offer by the Economic Development Corporation of Lenawee (EDC) to sell the former Alpine Engineering buildings on Salisbury Street. The city is trying to obtain repayment of a $23,000 loan made to the EDC for environmental work that was completed at the buildings in 2006.

After Alpine moved to Hudson, the EDC had no income from the property and has a large unpaid loan to United Bank and Trust for the purchase of the buildings.

EDC has offered the city a $2,000 payment and a one-year extension on the loan. The group is now offering to sell the property to the city for an additional $50,000, but council rejected the offer.

FIRE DEPARTMENT—Morenci Fire Department members met Jan. 8 to elect officers for 2012.

Officer chosen were Brad Lonis, C2; Bronson DiCenso, C4; Steve Olmstead, C6; Duyane Dickerson, head engineer; Cory Holt, second engineer; Delbert McClain, third engineer; Cory Sallows, fourth engineer; and Farra Ryan, secretary.

Chad Leahy was approved for membership with the department. Nick Fenner resigned from the department.

PROJECTS—Mayor Pennington has asked council members for ideas to use as goals in the coming year to improve services to citizens.

He also intends to schedule a tour of the city’s buildings and grounds. To physically see what may come up during council discussions should help with decision-making, he said.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • 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.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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