Morenci city council 2012.05.16

Written by David Green.

A 40-year veteran of the Morenci police force will retire at the end of this fiscal year.

 Chief of Police Larry Weeks told city council members Monday that Frank Cordts will leave the department at the end of June.

Council approved a Separation Agreement calling for the city to pay Cordts’ health insurance costs for 18 months following retirement, all unused sick pay and a $3,760 pay-out. 

Weeks also asked council to approve Cordts’ promotion to sergeant for the remaining two months of his employment with the city.

DEMOLITION—At $4,480, Armstrong Excavating of Fayette won the bid to demolish the house and garage at 211 W. Union St. The only other bid submitted was for $8,875 from Slusarski Excavating and Paving, Inc. of Adrian.

The work is expected to be completed by the end of this month.

The property owner has been in violation of numerous maintenance ordinances and council finally voted to send the issue to court for a judgement. 

“Our intention was never for demolition, it was for compliance,” explained building inspector Kevin Arquette at a council meeting in March. However, he said, the court ordered demolition.

Complaints about the property go back at least seven years, Arquette said, and compliance with city law was never accomplished.

TASER POLICY—Chief Weeks reported that his department was trained in Taser use at no charge by the Jackson Police Department and they are “ready to go.” Council approved the new policy unanimously.

CANDIDATE—Council member Robert Jennings was the only person to file a nominating petition by the deadline May 8. Jennings was appointed to fill the term of Jason Cook.

PARK USE—In a 4-3 vote, council approved an alcohol permit for a May 25-26 softball tournament organized by a private individual, Steve Cook. Councilors Robert Jennings and Greg Braun, and Mayor Keith Pennington, voted against the motion.

Camping will also be allowed during the tournament. An amendment offered by councilor Brenda Spiess to charge a $120 fee beyond the $50 per day field use fee was defeated. 

Several councilors said they are not opposed to charging a fee to cover costs that the city incurs associated with use of the park, they just didn’t think it should be done as this request was being considered for approval.

“We should look toward doing this in the future,” said Braun.

BUDGET—During a public hearing on proposed budget for 2012-13, Mayor Pennington reviewed significant items of interest in the budget. 

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder noted that she would like to include new software in the budget that would allow for payment of water bills on-line and other features.

The budget will be approved at the next council meeting which is scheduled May 21 due to the Memorial Day falling on the regularly scheduled meeting date. 

PAY—Council approved a standard 25-cent increase for Deputy Clerk Leasa Slocum.

POPPY DAY—The mayor declared this Saturday, May 19, Poppy Day. Representatives from the Morenci American Legion will sell paper poppy flowers at the intersection of Main and North streets.

RECYCLING—Braun asked residents to be more careful when disposing of materials at the recycling center. He has seen paper placed in with plastics, number one plastics in with number two and other such infractions.

  • 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.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • 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

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