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.

  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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