Ideas suggested for city improvement 2012.01.25

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci mayor Keith Pennington has no shortage of ideas to work on for 2012 after hearing suggestions at the council meeting Monday night.

The mayor asked department heads and council members to come up with at least three priorities to work on for the year.

Brief overviews of the suggestions were given at the council meeting and priorities will be set at a later time.

Police chief Larry Weeks:

1. Enhance community involvement through an improved city website. Include tax records, a staff e-mail list and other documents.

2. Continue discussion of the police department space problems and ways to improve the situation.

3. Give consideration to the disrepair in many areas at the EMS building that is being given to the city from ProMedica. Some needs could be quite expensive.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool:

1. Tackle a water main project on Locust Street from East to Page.

2. Tackle a water main project on W. Chestnut from Salisbury to Clark. There are some dead ends on west end water lines that need to be looped into the system.

3. Evaluate seal coating of a street done in the past and discuss if it should be done in other areas.

Library director Colleen Leddy: 

1. Provide someone to do an interior and exterior audit of the library building to evaluate maintenance needs.

2. Remain aware of proposals to form a district library—either county-wide or Morenci’s own—and support the library board’s decision.

3. Include the library in the city’s information technology maintenance plan.

Fire chief Chad Schisler:

1. Consider improving the west side water system.

2. Print fire safety messages on water bills.

3. Place an LED marquis sign in front of the fire hall to announce community events.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder:

1. Stay in contact with state officials regarding the second phase of the industrial park to complete the road through the park.

2. Stay in contact with the potential donor for the walking trail along Bean Creek.

3. Review the city’s employee handbook.

Building inspector Kevin Arquette:

1. Council should consider updating the fee schedule for inspections and become familiar with code updates to allow him to do his job.

2. Get the rental inspection program up and running for the five-year plan.

Councilor Jeff Bell:

1. Improve the city website and make it more interactive.

2. Review the employee handbook and clarify some gray areas.

3. Examine the zoning fee schedule.

Councilor Tracy Schell:

1. Take advantage of low housing costs and work to increase home ownership in the city.

2. Come up with a plan to market Morenci.

3. Review and update the city charter.

Councilor Robert Jennings:

1. Make changes at Stephenson Park, such as creating more parking along the street; removing unused grills; moving the unused shuffleboard seating to the basketball court; placing trash cans in holders that are fastened to the ground.

Councilor Brenda Spiess:

1. Review employee compensation in light of changes at the state level.

2. Create a capital improvement fund to tackle projects such as street lights at the industrial park.

3. Take a city-wide audit of facilities to evaluate maintenance needs.

Councilor Rebecca Berger:

1. Consider increasing the pay for elected officials.

2. Evaluate street repair needs.

3. Make the appearance of rental homes more acceptable, including lawn care and snow shoveling.

Mayor Pennington:

1. Form a committee to think about what would be needed to make Morenci more of a destination location. This is needed in order for merchants to continue their businesses.

2. Start a discussion about an aesthetic code for the downtown, in an effort to preserve our traditional character.

3. Investigate obtaining energy efficient street lighting.

4. Be aware of the “institutional knowledge” possessed by the city’s long-term staff members. For example, does more than one person thoroughly know the operation of the water system and the location of underground infrastructure? Create a guidebook that shows how to run the city.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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