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.

  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.

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