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.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • 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.

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