Fayette village council 2012.04.04

Written by David Green.

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.

  • Cecil
    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.
  • Front.batter
    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.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • 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.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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