The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
  • Front.sculpt
    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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Fayette village council 2012.08.01

Written by David Green.


Frustration with spending by Fayette’s park board was discussed by council members at the July 25 meeting.

Questions were asked about whether fees charged for summer ball participation are covering costs, and whether fund-raising efforts by the park board are sufficient.

Village administrator Steve Blue said he spoke with park director Nick Ramos and told him that the board needed to cut back.

“Cut back?” asked councilor Julia Ruger.

With $42,000 spent, she suggested that it was a little late to be cutting back.

Village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver said she can almost guarantee the board will not bring in enough revenue this year to cover expenses.

Zuver wondered if the director only reports to park board or if council approval is needed. She suggested that maybe the board has too much authority.

Village solicitor Tom Thompson said the park budget should be established by council and the decision about how to spend the money is up to the board.

Zuver wondered how closely the board looks at the budget and who it reports to.

Mayor Ruth Marlatt asked Zuver to prepare a report on where the park board budget currently stands. Board members can examine the document at their next meeting.

“They need to realize that we’re not just saying there’s no money,” Marlatt said. “They knew when they were making those expenditures that things were tight. We need to make them aware of the fact that they’ve gone beyond ‘tight’.”

Zuver encouraged council members to look through the finance report and see where money was spent to have their questions answered.

“They need to know we’re concerned,” Marlatt said.

TAX—Blue noted in his report that income tax collections are more than $60,000 behind last year’s amount at this time of the year, although the second quarter report is not yet complete.

Similarly, utility collections are running $13,000 behind for the second quarter. Delinquent payments to the village total $43,700 or 18 percent of billings. That number is far too high, Blue said, and he aims to make a stronger effort to collect.

“After talking with Lisa [Zuver],” he said, “it’s apparent our collection efforts are not sufficient.”

GRANT—Blue said that council should learn before Oct. 25 whether or not the village will receive a $600,000 grant to contribute to the sewer project. When the outcome is known, bids can be sought.

METERS—The grant for water meter replacement is for $22,000 and requires $3,000 from the village. Many questions remain about the grant, such as whether the village can buy new meters and install them as needed rather than tackle the entire village at once, which would cost more than $200,000. 

The village has a large inventory of old meters and Blue will find out whether they can still be used, despite containing some pieces with lead. Only lead-free meters will be available in the future.

EMERGENCY—Council appointed police chief Jason Simon as its representative to a county-wide emergency management board meeting to discuss various issues such as new radios. The board was established when the county began using the 911 emergency system, but it’s been inactive.

CAR WASH—Eagle Car Wash is back in operation, but Blue said he denied a request for the owners to dig their own well but still use the village sewer system.

Council’s Public Works committee recommended denying the request.

AUDIT—The semiannual village audit turned up five findings that Blue described as minor. Zuver made corrections to satisfy the auditors.

TREE CUTTING—Only Knisel offered a bid for Phase 5 of the tree removal plan. The bid was for $3,200, but the Finance committee wants to review the trees scheduled for cutting before make a recommendation to council. The cutting might be delayed for a year.

RANGE—The Public Safety committee discussed public use of the shooting range and suggested that no further action is needed.

PAY—Effective July 23, maintenance supervisor Tom Clemensen’s pay rate is $14.45 an hour.

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