Morenci city council 2012.02.29

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Certain land contract purchases could become part of the city’s rental inspection plan if city council members approve a proposed ordinance change.

The change would affect several residents, said mayor Keith Pennington, and he welcomes public comment about the plan.

The issue was discussed and tabled at the Feb. 13 meeting, but Pennington presented a proposal Monday that would include land contract purchases in the inspection plan if they are not registered with the county deeds office.

If the change were made, said city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder, the city’s building inspector would be allowed inside to make safety inspections.

Several properties are listed as available for rent or for sale and a land contract agreement is signed rather than paying monthly rent. 

“It the change is approved,” Pennington said, “it might bring a lot of land contracts back to rentals.”

Every time the property changes ownership, another safety inspection would be required, where rental properties are inspected only once every five years.

“The owners might find there’s more advantages as a rental,” the mayor said.

TASER—Council approved a request by police chief Larry Weeks for the purchase of a Taser electroshock weapon. Money will come from the police department’s equipment fund.

Weeks said he had some hesitation with making the purchase until legal issues were cleared and more training options available. He’s glad he waited because technology has improved.

With the county sheriff’s department cutting back and a state police office closing, Weeks said he wants his department to have the best tools available, including the Taser.

Continuing training is needed to operate the device.

UPGRADE—Council approved a motion to seek bids for an electrical upgrade at Wakefield Park. The city electrical inspector said the transformer near the old ball diamond should be twice the size of the existing unit. 

City treasurer Crystal White, who is a member of the Town and Country Festival committee, said there were electrical problems at the last festival and some vendors have inquired whether improvements will be made.

Another electrical problem at the festival last year was related to equipment owned by Consumers and that was replaced.

PROPERTY—Council voted unanimously to approve a covenant deed for the transfer of the ProMedica property to the city. Pennington reminded council that the deed includes a 20-year restriction on using the property for an enterprise that ProMedica would consider competing with its operations in Morenci.

Pennington said his understanding is that the restriction would be removed if ProMedica’s current use of adjacent property ends.

GRANTS—The city received a 50 percent match state grant to pay half the cost of a new dump truck through a clean diesel program. The truck is expected to cost about $130,000.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool and assistant clerk Leasa Slocum attended a workshop about program. Schroeder was told that their grant application was considered among the best submitted.

A $3,000 grant for trees was given by Consumers Energy. The grant will be used to partially cover the cost of landscaping in the parking lot project.

JUDGMENT—Council voted 6-1 to accept a consent judgment regarding former employee Stephanie Mossing. Mossing is repaying the city about $9,500 in tuition money that was spent before she left for another job. The judgment calls for repayment over the next year.

Jell Bell opposed the motion, believing the money should be paid to the city immediately.

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.

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