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.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.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • 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.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

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