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.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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    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.
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    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.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.

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