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.