The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • 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.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.office
    NEW OFFICES—Fayette village administrator Steve Blue speaks with tax administrator Genna Biddix at the new front desk of the village office. Village council members voted to use budgeted renovation funds targeted for the old office and instead buy the vacant bank building on the corner of Main and Fayette streets. The old office was sold to Sherwood State Bank. When everything is put into place in the spacious new village office, an open house will be scheduled. Council member David Wheeler donated all of his time needed to make changes in the bank interior to fit the Village’s needs.

Fulton County to look at water resources 2012.05.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Does Fulton County have sufficient water resources to supply itself without the help of Toledo?

An update to the Fulton County Comprehensive Water Plan is expected to provide an answer to the question.

The county water plan was written in 1994 and updated in 2000 by the Finkbeiner, Pettis and Strout engineering firm (now known as Arcadis).

Because that firm has close ties with many area communities, an outside company was chosen for the next update, explained Fulton County public utilities director Ziad Musallam.

The county commissioners decided to go with a firm from outside the area to obtain a fair opinion, Musallam said, and chose the Columbus office of American StructurePoint.

A regional water plan would give the county control of it own water resources.

“We want to see if it’s viable to cut off from Toledo or whether we should stay with Toledo,” Musallam said. “We’re looking at local resources to see if could switch direction.”

Many areas of the county depend on water purchased from Toledo, but that’s not the case for Wauseon, Archbold and Fayette.

Wauseon obtains its water from surface water collection and Archbold treats water from the Tiffin River. Only Fayette has ample groundwater resources with a pair wells drilled into the Michindoh Aquifer, a massive water-bearing formation that serves nearly 20 communities in seven counties.

Musallam said that StructurePoint will first review the water resources of each community in the county. Although Archbold has sufficient water, and even sells water to several area communities, its resources are affected by seasonal and climate changes. During a drought in the 1980s, for example, reservoir levels fell dramatically.

In the peak demand months of the summer, Musallam said, Wauseon could have trouble meeting its needs during adverse weather.

Next, StructurePoint will examine the treatment capabilities of communities. In Archbold, water is available from the Tiffin River, but treatment costs are substantial before water is distributed for drinking.

Finally, the engineering firm will consider the current and long-term needs of each community in the county.

After StructurePoint presents its data on water inventory and needs, Musallam said the county commissioners will decide whether to move forward into a second phase of developing a regional water plan. That could include details such as the logistics of distributing water throughout the county.

The first phase is expected to be completed in June.

UPDATES—Since 2000 water plan update, Fulton County completed a water project in the northeast portion of the county to serve Metamora and Lyons with water from Lucas County. The project was aided by a $3.1 million grant in federal “stimulus funds” through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A regional water service plan was also promoted through the establishment of a line to Tedrow through a connection to the Wauseon water system.

In addition to the northeast section and Tedrow, Winameg and Ai are listed in the 2000 plan as critical service areas.

The report concluded that Wauseon, Archbold, Delta, Fayette and Swanton will all have adequate water supplies throughout a 20-year period.

Providing municipal water service to new areas, the report stated, may create new sewage disposal challenges or amplify existing sewage problems.

With this in mind, the report suggested development of a comprehensive sewage plan.

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