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

  • 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.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Fayette village council 2012.02.21

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Current estimates show Fayette’s sewer project coming in below budget, however, bids won’t be sought until this summer.

Tim Harmsen of the Arcadis engineering firm told Fayette council members last week that $7 million is budgeted for the project, but current costs look to be nearly half a million dollars less.

“We haven’t bid the project yet to know what construction costs will be,” Harmsen said, “but that’s good news.”

Harmsen expects to advertise for bids in July, with construction possibly getting underway in late fall. If the project continues on schedule, completion should come by November 2013. There should be eight to nine months of “hard construction,” he said.

A few additional catch basins were found that connect to the sanitary system, Harmsen said, and they should be disconnected. Council should consider adding those to the project if funds are available. The budget includes about $600,000 for contingencies.

The project doesn’t include work on private property, Harmsen said, but Roberta Acosta of the Rural Community  Assistance Program is working to obtain funding for low-to-moderate income owners.

In some cases, such as on Maple Street, the existing sewer line goes out the back of the house and will need to be brought to the front of the property.

There are back-yard sewers on some properties along Joan and George streets. The village attorney told Harmsen there is no record of an easement being given to the village and so the sewer lines should be considered private.

Those sewers will be left alone, Harmsen said, and only a storm sewer line will be installed under those streets.

Similarly, sewers in back of some Spring Street homes are considered private and will be left alone.

Easements need to be obtained for a few properties and the attorney will begin the acquisition process, which is expected to take a couple of months.

When construction is ready to begin, Harmsen said, the village will need an employee dedicated to determining the locations of the lateral sewer lines emerging from homes.

In some cases, the person will have to go into basements to see where the line exits. Harmsen suggested buying a push camera that would be inserted into a line at the house. A tracer device would track the location of the line out into the yard.

Harmsen submitted drawings to ODOT and learned the agency is very concerned about maintaining traffic flow. Sewer lines will be constructed on the north side of the road and connections from homes on the south side will be bored under the road. The cost difference between that and an open cut is not significant, Harmsen said.

No traffic detour will be allowed. Instead, the contractor will need to maintain traffic in one lane. ODOT will now wait until 2016 to repave U.S. 20 rather than 2014. This will allow soil below the road to settle.

Curbing will not be paid by ODOT, Harmsen learned. He said it was determined to replace curbing only to match the existing curb. For example, in areas where the curb does not currently show, new curb will not be constructed.

Harmsen advises the village to initiate a program to enforce the ordinance regarding roof drains emptying into sanitary lines. He knows of at least a dozen locations where this is used.

Harmsen said that typically a public meeting is scheduled for a project of this nature for a review of the work ahead.

“It’s going to be a difficult project,” Harmsen said. “There are a lot of unknowns. There are 100 years of sewers out there and we’re not sure where everything is. I’m sure we’re going to run into things we didn’t expect.”

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