Fayette village council 2012.10.03

Written by David Green.

Fayette village council will seek new bids on tree trimming before moving forward with the next phase of tree maintenance.

Village administrator Steve Blue gave council members an update on recommendations from the village tree commission about which trees are in need of trimming or cutting. A tree in the park was added to a previous list because of "imminent danger" and concern was expressed about another tree, but it might not be on village right of way.

Councilor Julia Ruger thinks it's time to back off from tree trimming for a while.

"We've spent too much money on trees," she said. "There are more important things to be spending money on."

She suggested tabling the issue for now, making a new list of trimming priorities and seeking new bids.

Council member Mat Johnson suggested that it might be better to cut trees rather than trim them. Why top and trim now, he asked, only to have to cut them a few years down the road?

Three trees on the list are marked for trimming and cleaning out, said mayor Ruth Marlatt, and perhaps they could be cut instead. Blue mentioned earlier that trimming is costlier than cutting down.

FEES—Council heard a first reading of a proposed change in zoning permit fees. The cost of a conditional use permit, of a zoning district change and of a variance will increase from $25 to $50 to ensure the publishing cost is covered by the fee. The fee for a demolition permit and a certificate of occupancy will decrease to $20.

EASEMENTS—Twenty-two property owners have agreed to an easement that would allow the village to construct and maintain the new sewer system on private property. Seven other owners have either not yet made a decision about the issue or want to be paid for giving the easement.

Johnson asked what the cost of the easement would be, since he's heard from some people who donated the easement that they would be upset if others were to be paid a large sum. Village attorney Tom Thompson said the cost would likely range between $50 and $100.

"The project can't go through without the easements," Blue said. "It's as simple as that."

By emergency measure, council approved a resolution to take legal action, if necessary, to obtain the easements.

MAINTENANCE—Council approved a wage increase for village worker Matt Moats from $13.45 an hour to $14.45. Moats was named the new maintenance coordinator to replace Tom Clemensen.

Blue said a recent inspection of the water plant by the EPA went well, however, Blue was told that someone with a water operators license is needed as a backup to the existing operator, Tom Rupp. The person must be able to be on duty in the plant within an hour of being called.

Blue noted that some communities contract with a licensed engineer in another community.

MAYOR—In the mayor's report, Marlatt mentioned that Steve Brown, the county planning director has announced his impending resignation at the end of the year. She said she would attend a meeting Oct. 2 to hear a presentation about the county water study.

ADMINISTRATOR—Blue said in his report that tax revenue is on track to match last year and the delinquent payment situation continues to improve.

HALLOWEEN—Council set trick or treat hours from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31.

  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • 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.

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