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.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
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    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
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    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
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    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
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    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
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    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
  • 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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    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.
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    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
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