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 village council 2012.11.07

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Half a dozen construction companies submitted bids for Fayette's sewer separation project, and the low bid for each of the three contracts involved in the work came in below estimates.

Based on projections by the village's engineering firm, the total cost should come in about $400,000 below the estimate, village administrator Steve Blue told council members last week. Council will wait for a recommendation from engineers before accepting the bids.

The largest portion of the work will be covered by the $4.9 million bid covering all but two facets of the project. A second contract will pay for manhole liners—a bid that came in far below the estimate and doesn't appear to meet the specifications advertised—and the final bid covers the cost of rehabilitating a few sewer lines that won't be replaced in the project.

When the work is complete, Fayette's sanitary sewer lines will be separated from the storm water lines and should prevent overflows of raw sewage into Spring Creek. This explains the description of the project known as a combined sewer overflow (CSO) project.

Council is expected to meet for a brief special meeting to approve the bids after the engineer's recommendations are received. The final bid package must be delivered to the Ohio EPA office by Nov. 8 in order for loan approval Dec. 3.

Blue said that all property owners who didn't initially agree to an easement request for sewer work have now agreed to sign easement documents.

BACKHOE—Village maintenance coordinator Matt Moats has collected prices to buy a new backhoe. Council's public works committee will examine the bids.

POLICE—Officer Chris Garcia was granted time off through the Family and Medical Leave Act. The village doesn't employ enough people to be subject to FMLA regulations, but the employee handbook indicates that FMLA rules will be followed.

Council hired Michael Polley to serve as a part-time officer. Police chief Jason Simon will soon be the only full-time officer with Garcia gone and another officer leaving for a job elsewhere. Simon has résumés from three other candidates and expects additional part-timers will be needed. Council voted to give him permission to hire additional staff.

Chief Simon told the village finance committee that he would like to have a physical fitness requirement as part of an officer's contract with the village.

TAX ADMINISTRATOR—Fayette's tax administrator Dee (Potter) Lawrence has announced her retirement at the end of the year. She would like to work as an independent contractor when needed, such as when water bills and tax statements need to be mailed.

Council member Julia Ruger suggested that council should determine how much time she would be needed rather than hiring her back immediately. Village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver said she could handle a portion of Lawrence's work.

INSURANCE—Hylant insurance company's bid for village insurance came in at $19,532 which is less than a year ago.

BANKING—Because Huntington Bank is no longer offering a free checking account for the village, council discussed switching to another bank. Ruger said she would be in favor of the change, but not before speaking with Mike Figgins to see if he can overrule the announcement by Huntington. The preference is to continue as a customer of the local bank.

ORDINANCES—Council heard the second reading of a proposal to change the zoning fee schedule and the first reading of a proposal to change the ordinance regarding oversize and overweight vehicles to conform with state law in regard to penalties. Council also passed a resolution to hire the Arcadis engineering firm to oversee the sewer project.

MEETING—Council voted to change the date of the December meeting to Dec. 19, the third Wednesday of the month.

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