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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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