Fayette village council 2012.08.01

Written by David Green.

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.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • 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

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016