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.

Fayette needs more income survey returns 2012.07.11

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Time is running short before Fayette might have to toss away any hope of obtaining $600,000 in grant money to help pay for the sewer separation project that could start as early as this fall.

Without that grant, residents will need to add that much extra to their own share of the project’s cost. With the current 513 water/sewer accounts, an even split of the cost would add an additional $1,170 for each family over the course of the payback period at zero percent interest.

The cost would increase to $1,480 at two percent interest and to about $2,400 at six percent interest.

“I’m really worried about you,” Roberta Acosta of the Rural Community Assistance Program told village council members June 27. “You’re just not going to do any better than [this grant].”

Acosta has worked with the village on various projects over recent years and she’s currently assisting with grants and loans for the sewer project.

In order to apply for the grant, the village must present income data.

“The new census data has you much higher than where we believe the village should be,” she said, “but unfortunately we’re not having a lot of success with that.”

Median household income data was collected in 2003, Acosta said, but it must be recertified. Forms were mailed to randomly-generated addresses, and when returns failed to meet the quota, council members spent some time going door to door.

Acosta said there are 130 valid responses, but 247 are needed. To qualify for the grant, the village must prove that at least 51 percent of the residents fall into the low-to-moderate income range.

Acosta brought a new survey form that  she hopes will make some residents more comfortable in responding. It asks for three pieces of information: the address of the residence; the number of people living at the residence; an indication of the income range of the family. A resident is asked to check a box showing the income range that matches the family.

Acosta gave council members until July 13 to try again. She would tabulate data again and there would be one additional week before the deadline. Council member Julia Ruger suggested sending surveys along with water bills to those addresses chosen to receive one. Bills are due July 15.

There’s one other complicating factor, she said. If the village doesn’t have a contract for the project signed by the end of the year, the $4.8 million grant from the Ohio EPA will disappear.

This is very, very important to the community, Acosta said.

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