Morenci city council 2013.03.13

Written by David Green.

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.

  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

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