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

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Fayette village council 2012.04.04

Written by David Green.


Everybody knows the location of some potholes in Fayette, says Paul Morningstar, because they’re everywhere.

Morningstar spoke at last week’s Fayette village council meeting about the bad state of repairs on many of the town’s streets.

Morningstar said it’s embarrassing to invite out-of-town people to his house and he figures village residents would be proud if street repairs were done—especially if the repairs were done correctly.

“I like to see things done well,” he said. “There’s a proper way to do it.”

He’s disappointed that some repairs were done using patch left over from last year, and that a truck is used to tamp the patch down instead of using a steel plate.

Morningstar said he’s even patched some holes himself on Union Street where he lives and he would consider being hired to make repairs if the help is needed.

“I’m not looking for another job,” he said, “but I’m willing to help. I came to the meeting to bring attention to the problem.”

Mayor Ruth Marlatt said that road repair is a frequent topic of conversation among council members. Some of the worst areas have been addressed, she said, and some areas have been delayed due to the impending sewer work that could begin yet this year.

Morningstar said he’s seen a street that received chip and seal before the potholes were filled—an approach that doesn’t make sense to him.

CAR WASH—Council voted to rescind the tax abatement for Eagle Car Wash because the business is no longer in compliance. Water was shut off to the business due to unpaid bills.

The abatement was granted in 2004 when the structure was built. A 10 percent discount on water rates was granted, but later eliminated by council members in 2009.

Car wash owners have asked council for permission to drill their own well rather than pay for village water. Their water does not have to be potable.

The problem with that approach, said councilor David Borer, is that the village would have to run the wash water through the sewage treatment system without any accounting of the quantity.

Councilor Mat Johnson suggested tabling the request until the water bill is paid and Dave Wheeler concurred.

ADMINISTRATOR—Council voted 5-0 to advertise for a permanent village administrator, with an application due date to be determined later. Johnson abstained from voting due to his interest in applying for the position.

TREES—Council accepted the low bid of $3,360 from Knisel Tree Service for the removal of 16 trees. Village workers will handle the clean-up and a stump grinder will be rented.

CHIPPER—Council will pay $18,700 for a brush chipper that was used by a municipality in California. The unit has been serviced and will come with a one-month warranty. Julia Ruger opposed the purchase.

ENGINEERS—Council voted to have Arcadis determine the legal descriptions for 10 properties where easements will be needed for the sewer separation project. Village solicitor Tom Thompson estimates the work will cost $250 per property.

SIDEWALKS—Council approved a sidewalk assessment for repairs made in 2011 for which property owners have not yet reimbursed the village for costs. Twenty-six properties are involved, with the highest assessment at nearly $2,600.

One property owner requested a two-year payment period, but Thompson explained that it can’t be granted for one person and not others.

The property owner could choose to pay only half and allow the remainder to go delinquent, he said, but it would be subject to a one-time 15 percent fine on the balance. Payments are due in February, Thompson said. After that, the unpaid balance will be placed on the tax bill. An interest rate of 3.5 percent will be charged.

Councilor Dave Wheeler questioned whether one year was sufficient time for someone on a fixed income. Johnson agreed, and he voted against the ordinance in the 5-1 vote.

CLEANUP—Council approved an annual village cleanup date of May 5. Fees will be paid by those residents who choose to use the service based on the volume of trash taken to the ARS trucks.

CLOSED—Council met in a closed session to discus a personnel issue.

Earlier in the meeting, village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver reminded councilors of the allowable reasons for shutting out the public in a personnel discussion: appointment, employment, dismissal, discipline, promotion, demotion, or compensation of a public employee or official, or the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee.

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