Morenci city council 2013.03.13

Written by David Green.


Morenci city council members will consider a request by the summer ball board of directors to bring the program back under the auspices of the city government.

The new Morenci Little League president Tim Decker told council Monday that years ago the summer ball program was part of the city’s recreation department. He’s not sure when the change occurred, but he thinks the program belongs with the city.

“We’re not asking for money,” Decker said, but affiliation with the city will allow tax-deductible donations to the program.

“We want to do what’s best for the kids,” Decker said, and he believes the initial step is affiliation with the city.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder spoke with Decker earlier about the proposal and she’s awaiting a response from the city attorney to see if he has any concerns about the change.

Schroeder and council member Rebecca Berger will meet with Decker to discuss the proposal further. 

Decker said the change will make the ball program’s finances accountable to the city, which he favors. 

He also said the board intends to run the concession stand, but is willing to work with other groups if any are interested in taking part.

He’s hoping the girls 11- and 12-year-old softball program will also become part of the Little League program with the city.

The next board meeting is scheduled at 4 p.m. Feb. 24 and the first player registration date is Feb. 23 at city hall.

DEVELOPMENT—Mayor Keith Pennington told council that he and Schroeder toured the vacant Palm Plastics building with the regional representative from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Pennington thinks the visitor was very impressed with the facility and that he left with a good impression of the city as a whole. His visit also included a tour of General Broach.

Pennington and Schroeder created a package highlighting the features of the Palm building for state development officials to use.

“I assure the community that council is very much concerned about the economic climate of the city,” Pennington said. “While we don’t have something to report every week, there are a lot of efforts being put forward to increase our industrial base.”

Schroeder said she and Pennington will meet this week with state representatives to talk about the county revolving loan fund that might be used for the sale of Johnson’s Hardware store.

GEAR—Councilor Tracy Schell asked council to approve the donation of old fire department turnout gear. With Jeff Bell absent, council approved the motion 6-0.

There are fire departments in the Upper Peninsula that might put the gear to use, she said, and another alternative is the Dominican Republic.

ODOR—City supervisor Barney Vanderpool said Wonder Makers Environmental collected air samples at city hall in a continuing effort to track down the cause of a persistent, unpleasant odor.

The company gave some suggestions for further investigation and will send a report highlighting an analysis of air samples taken in various locations.

LIBRARY—Council approved library board minutes that included the hiring of a new assistant, Pam Hollstein.

PLANNERS—Brad Lonis and Mayor Pennington were appointed to the planning commission to give the board the minimum number of members required.

Other members are Joe Varga, Robert Jennings, Art Erbskorn, Lowell Oberhaus and Brad Frederick.

VISITOR—State senator Bruce Caswell spoke to council about changes in state taxes. A report of his visit will be published in next week’s Observer.

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • 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.
    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.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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