Fayette council 2013.04.03

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette has a third full-time police officer on duty, with hesitation voiced by only one council member.

Council members voted last week to hire David Richmond at a rate of $13 an hour. Richmond has served in Fayette as a part-time officer and he received a strong recommendation from Fayette chief Jason Simon. 

Richmond had been pursuing a job elsewhere, Simon said at a committee meeting last month, but stated that he felt some loyalty to the Fayette department and looked forward to moving to a small town.

Council member Rodney Kessler said he wasn't completely in favor of hiring another officer.

"There are several reasons I'm against a third full-time officer," he said, "but I don't want to lose Officer Richmond."

Earlier in the meeting, mayor Ruth Marlatt stated that when council members agreed in the past to employ three full-time officers, there was an understanding there would be no more overtime hours. About $5,000 in overtime was spent last year, she said.

"If David Richmond is hired," Marlatt said, "I would like to return to the principle of no overtime."

That would be possible with additional part-time staff, Chief Simon said, but the department is losing another part-time officer.

Simon spoke to council last month about the difficulty of finding and keeping part-time officers. Later in the meeting, council members voted to accept the resignation of part-time officer Alanna Langenderfer.

PARKING—Council voted to extend an agreement with DH Holdings, the company that owns the former school property near the park. As long as the village takes care of the property, the parking lot and grassy area may be used by community members. Acceptance is still needed by Fayette board of education.

CELL PHONE—Council voted to reimburse park director Nick Ramos for up to $250 worth of cell phone use for the current year to cover costs he incurs through park business.

APPLICATIONS—The village received 24 applications for the new part-time utility and tax clerk position and 20 applications for the streets and grounds positions. Blue and village fiscal officer Lisa Zuver will review them and recommend to council which candidates to interview. An interview committee will need to be appointed.

PARK—The Methodist church youth group does not want to operate the park concession stand this year and park director Nick Ramos is seeking a group interested in using the stand for a fund-raising project.

The board hasn't yet determined the cost of closing all entrances to the park in order to create a dog run inside the track. Blue said his research shows that the area might not meet the standards for a dog run. If it were designated as such, children under 10 years of age would not be allowed inside due to feces and the possibility of dog bites.

WATER—Utilities supervisor Jeff Merillat reported a 20 percent increase in water usage in the last month and he suspects a leak. He urges residents to call the village office if standing water is spotted.

Tom Rupp said that due to a health condition, he would no longer serve as the lead operator for the sewer plant and he would turn that over to Merillat. As a backup operator, he would require $20 an hour plus a retainer fee of $25 a month to pay the cost of keeping his licenses current.

Marlatt thanked Rupp for his service to the village and asked the Finance committee to consider his request.

EMERGENCY—Fulton County Emergency Management Agency director Heather Kost told council her agency is planning training programs, starting with a "Weather Observer and Storm Spotter Training" event April 4.

Disaster planning is on-going, Kost said, including comprehensive county-wide planning with school districts.

  • 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
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • 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.
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    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • 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.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.

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