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.

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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