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.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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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