Morenci city council 2012.04.25

Written by David Green.

Morenci came close last year in obtaining bridge replacement funding for the East Main Street bridge over Silver Creek, but not close enough.

The city’s application came in at number five among 60 applicants in a 10-county region last year. The region stretches from the Ohio border north passed Lansing to Clinton and Shiawassee counties and includes Livingston and Washtenaw counties on the east.

Unfortunately, last year’s near success doesn’t guarantee any improvement for the next application, said Frank Brechting of the engineering firm that inspects the bridge.

There’s no telling where the bridge will place the next time because additional bridges in worse shape could join the competition for federal funds distributed by the Michigan Department of Transportation.

“The steel is continuing to corrode and it will be funded eventually,” Brechting said.

Due to corrosion of the steel beams and washout around abutments, Brechting nows makes annual inspections of the bridge.

The good news, Brechting said, is that based on his recent inspection, the existing weight limits will remain in effect for the next year.

Prior to an inspection in 2008, the weight limit was posted at 61 tons, but limits have been reduced more than once since then. Currently, the allowable weight is posted at 15 tons for a one-unit vehicle, 17 tons for a two-unit vehicle and 27 tons for a three-unit vehicle.

One change, noted city supervisor Barney Vanderpool, is a requirement to post new weight limit signs farther away from the bridge.

Morenci city council members approved an annual resolution Monday night to apply for funding. The current funding cycle is for 2015.

POLICE—Council members learned of the resignation of police officer Richard Dover who was with the Morenci department as a part-time officer for two years. Dover was hired on a full-time basis in Eaton Rapids.

Police chief Larry Weeks Dover is the second part-time officer to leave in the last two months.

“Scheduling is a challenge,” he said, “but we’ll work through it and keep officers on the street.”

He’s seeking applicants for new officers.

CANDIDATES—City clerk/administrator Renée Schroeder reminded residents of the May 15 deadline for anyone interested in filing a petition for a city council seat.

Robert Jennings, who was appointed to fill a vacancy, is collecting signatures in an attempt to retain his council position in the November election.

Schroeder noted there are still three vacancies on the planning commission and so far only one applicant.

WATER/SEWER—Council approved a simplified form that renters and landlords must sign in order to obtain water service.

As before, renters must pay a $250 deposit unless the landlord accepts responsibility for water and sewer costs at the property.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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