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 2013.02.27

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette village council members are now searching for not just one new village employee but two.

Maintenance coordinator Matt Moats put in a final day with the village on Friday before resigning to work full-time with a trucking business. Moats was working part time with the trucking company, said Fayette village administrator Steve Blue, and decided to concentrate on that job alone.

Moats was offered a salary increase in an effort to continue his employment with the village, but the offer was rejected. Moats was a valuable employee with good mechanical skills, Blue said.

Council members were already discussing the need for a second full-time village worker and now they will be advertising for two people.

At a committee-of-the-whole meeting last week, council discussed changing the job descriptions so that one worker would be in charge of water and sewer—with a license to operate the systems—while the other would focus on streets, grounds and equipment maintenance.

The village crew has put in a lot of overtime work since the sewer construction work got underway, Blue said. Gleason Construction, the sewer contractor, works until 5 p.m. and many of the water main breaks have occurred in the late afternoon.

When a sewer project-related break occurs, a determination must be made of who is responsible for the problem. In some cases a water line was marked and a break occurred; other times a line was not marked correctly.

Blue said that Gleason has now furnished a schedule outlining the company's proposed timeline for the project.

OHIO STREET—The cost of laying a new water line along Ohio Street—an area with frequent breaks—is estimated at $44,000. Blue will submit a proposal to the Ohio EPA in hopes of including that work in the sewer project.

TRW—Blue received preliminary drawings for a project to widen the road at the TRW factory. After a few remaining questions are answered by Arcadis, the village engineering firm, Blue intends to seek bids for that project and the village-wide paving project together. It's possible the work will be done in conjunction with paving for the sewer project, scheduled in late June.

POLICE—Council discussed police chief Jason Simon's request to hire a third full-time police officer to assist Simon and Chris Garcia. Simon has told council in the past that part-time officers are becoming more difficult to find. Some are finding full-time jobs in other communities and they often have other jobs that conflict with Fayette's needs.

Simon spoke with council about the use of prison labor to assist the village crew. In the past, Chief Simon provided transportation for the prisoners, but with the shortage of part-time officers, Simon believes he should remain in the village as much as possible.

WATER POLICY—Blue spoke to council about the need for a written policy relating to water payments and service shut-offs. 

"Dee [Lawrence] was here for a long time and operated on experience," Blue said.

With Lawrence's retirement, Blue and village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver are in charge of water payments and they would like a policy to follow. A policy exists for making late payments, Blue said, but it's not specific enough.

PARK—Council learned that the park board will explore the cost of completely closing in the walking track on Eagle Street to allow dogs to run free in the area. The track is mostly enclosed by a fence, but a few openings exist. If the park board doesn't want to pay for the work, council would have to decide if it's something it wants to address.

SLEDDING—Gleason Construction offered to create and seed a sledding hill with leftover soil from the sewer project. Blue suggested an area for Gleason to consider. A narrow north/south hill could be built just south of the T-ball diamond on the east side of Park Drive. Two small, unused village buildings would have to be demolished, Blue said.

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