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.

Few attend hearing for Fayette levy requests 2012.10.24

Written by David Green.

The audience was small for Fayette's public information meeting regarding two levy requests in the Nov. 6 general election, but that doesn't mean the discussion was also light. Several questions followed a presentation by village administrator Steve Blue.

Replacing the levy updates the value to current property assessments rather than simply renewing the existing value. Blue first addressed the request for replacement of the existing levy for parks and recreation. The park levy was last replaced in 1998, so it won't bring as stark a change as the general operating levy that hasn't been replaced since passage in 1968.

The park levy would bring an additional $5,600 to help with general maintenance needs including resurfacing the basketball courts, removal of dead and dying trees and stumps, ball diamond upkeep, repair of the broken scoreboard and maintenance of playground equipment.

Replacement of the 2.9-mill general operating levy would add about $21,000 to village coffers. Although the money cannot be targeted for a specific purpose, village council members know exactly how they want to use the money: to repay a 10-year loan for a street paving project. A grant covers nearly half of the $401,000 project. The village's loan costs nearly match the additional funds that replacement would bring in.

Nearly all village streets will be resurfaced either through the upcoming sewer project or through the project listed above.

Blue notes that the replacement request does not affect any property tax other than that paid to the village.

The owner of a home valued at $75,000 would pay an additional $54 a year, or about a dollar a week.

"That's something we feel is affordable to most everybody," Blue said.

For a $50,000 home, the increase would lead to an additional $36 a year. Residents who are 65 years or older, or are disabled, can apply for a homestead exemption. This subtracts $25,000 from the value of a home for taxation purposes. The exemption also applies to agricultural land.

To compute a tax rate, visit the county auditor's website at fultoncountyoh.com or call the auditor's office at 419/337-9200.

SCHEDULE—Eugene Rosinski asked when the road repair would begin. Blue said there are three projects scheduled next year: the sewer separation project; the street resurfacing; and a road project near the TRW plant. Construction should be complete by late summer or early fall.

STREETS—Rosinski also wondered about the width of streets. Some streets are narrower in certain areas, Blue said, and the aim is to create a uniform width. Curbing is not included in the project. Some areas that have streets in very good condition will not be included in the resurfacing. State highway is not included, although ODOT has scheduled repaving on U.S. 20 in 2014.

The TRW project will address the road on the north side of the plant where pavement is crumbling.

TRUCK ROUTE—Steve Snider asked about the idea to make Industrial Parkway a truck route to U.S. 127. Blue said he is not aware of any plans for that. The township owns half of the road where it passes through the village, he said, and township officials would be asked to cooperate in the cost of any improvements made in town.

Police chief Jason Simon pointed out that the creation of a truck route would probably attract a lot of car traffic, as well, something that business owners would not favor. Over the course of a day, he said, a truck passes through Fayette an average of every 90 seconds, with very few traffic incidents.

Street repair needs are one of the most frequent complaints lodged at the village office, Blue said.

"This is the time to jump on it and take advantage of that," he said about the grant/loan program.

PARKS—Rosinski wondered what would happen if the park replacement fails. Blue said there's sufficient money for basic operations, but larger projects will take longer to tackle.

Blue was asked if non-residents pay a fee to use the parks. Blue stated that fees are charged for softball tournaments and for the school to use the facilities.

Audience member Burt Blue noted that many township residents use the parks at no cost. When Blue was a park board member several years ago, the township board was approached about contributing funds to the operations of parks, but township trustees were not interested.

Administrator Blue said the some communities have joint park districts in cooperation with townships.

Mayor Ruth Marlatt suggested that costs should be examined and shown to township residents. In that way, she said, they could see how little financial support would cost and how much it would benefit the park program which is used by everyone.

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