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 council OKs budget 2013.01.16

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette's proposed spending plan for 2013 shows a 16 percent increase in overall appropriations and a 10.7 percent growth in general fund spending.

The general fund is projected to grow by $40,526 to $418,951, taking it back over the $400,000 mark for the first time since 2010. The purchase of a new backhoe and paying off the loan for a police department vehicle will help push spending upward, said village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver.

More than half of general fund spending goes to support the police department which shows an increase of $17,609 from last year. Chief Jason Simon would like to return the squad to three full-time officers in 2013. In addition, Zuver said, there were salary increases and some equipment replacement.

Other general fund spending includes an increase of $7,000 for street lighting to $23,000; an increase of $29,000 in street maintenance and repair to $41,403; an increase of $7,000 in general village office expenses to $45,667; and a $5,000 decrease in the village fiscal officer fund to $61,445.

Outside the general fund, street maintenance and repair shows a 9.5 percent increase of about $6,000 to $67,749; an $8,000 increase in state highway spending to $10,700; a $2,000 decrease in park spending to $51,500; and an increase of $25,948 on local motor vehicle taxes to $31,431.

Spending from the sewer enhancement fund is pegged to fall by $13,752 to $43,553, and spending from the utility improvement fund will increase by $15,000 to $26,000.

Total appropriations come out to $1,162,384 for an increase of $164,306 from a year ago.

Making it all work out becomes an annual juggling act for Zuver as she moves wages and benefits between funds for the best outcome.

For example, the maintenance coordinator now has more of his pay coming from the state motor vehicle license tax fund and less from streets. The village administrator’s salary and benefits come entirely from the water and sewer funds even though he has duties that spill into other areas of village government.

Council is expected to approve the 2013 appropriations at its Jan. 23 meeting.

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