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

  • 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.

Property values fall again 2012.03.07

Written by David Green.

Tax bills will vary, of course, but overall home values are dropping again this year in Lenawee County.

The declines aren’t as great as a year ago in most areas, but residential properties prices still haven’t recovered from the recession.

That doesn’t mean that some assessments may continue to rise, warns the county equalization department. Assessments in Michigan can still go up as much as the 2.7 percent inflation rate on property where a gap continues between the assessed value and the taxable value.

A year ago residential property values in Morenci declined by an average of 8.7 percent. Figures released this year by the equalization department shows a decrease of 2.9 percent.

The Medina Township drop of 6.5 percent a year ago came to a halt this year with no change listed. In Seneca Township, values went up by 2.0 percent a year ago, but dropped by the same amount this year.

Residential property took a drop in most locations, however, Palmyra and Woodstock townships both saw growth. The biggest decreases occurred in Blissfield Township (8.3) and Riga Township (7.7).

Overall, residential assessments fell by about 4.0 percent, the same figure for commercial property. Industrial property fell by 6.5 percent.

Farm land values continue to grow, showing an average increase of 2.0 percent. The biggest growth came in Fairfield Township at 11.1 percent, followed by Blissfield and Riga townships at 6.4.

Seneca Township values went up by 4.2 percent while Medina land stayed steady for the second year in a row. Seneca showed a 2.2 percent increase a year ago.

Falling assessments might sound like good news to taxpayers, but it could come back to bite them through a reduction in services. Less tax revenue to local government units can translate into less money for roads, law enforcement and other services.

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