By DAVID GREEN
Morenci city council might soon sever ties with Verizon (now Frontier) and switch telephone service to D&P Cable.
City treasurer Stephanie Mossing estimates the city will save between $200 and $300 a month, including long distance calls. There would no longer be a charge for calls to Adrian and some other area communities.
Council members approved a motion July 12 to go forward with the change if there are no penalties or additional charges from Verizon for breaking the existing contracts. Mossing was instructed to contact Verizon.
D&P currently provides internet service to the city.
At a previous meeting, police chief Larry Weeks expressed concern about the loss of service during a power outage, but he was told that a battery back-up system provides eight hours of service.
Jamie LaRocca of D&P Cable said there is also a generator that will kick in and provide unlimited service. A telephone that does not require electricity to operate would be needed, however.
If internet service is out, LaRocca said, telephone service is not affected.
LaRocca said his company would be willing to pay any penalties from Verizon. In addition, he said, there’s no contract with D&P. If the city is unhappy with the service, there’s no penalty for ending it.
LaRocca said the only change in service is that the 517 area code is needed even for Morenci calls in order to receive the fastest connection.
FESTIVAL—The Morenci Town and Country Festival ended this year’s run with a profit, and planning is already underway for next year.
“I think we had a very great festival,” committee member Kori Christle said. “We’ve heard lots of positive feedback.”
The committee intends to sign as many contracts as possible this summer for the 2011 festival rather than wait until next year.
“It would help us in seeking donations,” Christle said.
The committee would like to receive quarterly financial reports from the city and make quarterly reports to city council.
Committee member Sue Snyder said the decision to drop Sunday and go with a Thursday-Friday-Saturday schedule was a good one. Vendors and the carnival company reported doing better business with that arrangement.
Christle said the committee is always seeking volunteers to help with events.
“You don’t need to attend all the meetings,” she said. “Just volunteer to do one thing.”
The committee also welcomes ideas for activities to add to the festival schedule.
FENCE—Council approved an ordinance amendment that limits the height of front-yard fences to 36-inches.
Council Tracy Schell stated that she thinks 36 inches is too short, and she voted against the amendment.
TAHOE—Bids will be sought for the sale of the 2006 Tahoe police cruiser.
MEMBER—Tyler Schell was approved as the newest member of the Morenci Fire Department.
Councilor Schell noted that the department’s ladder truck was used for the first time in a farm rescue call.
NEW POSITION—Chief Weeks told council that 15 applications were received for the part-time secretarial position.
VANDALISM—Audience member Kathy Knoblauch asked if anything is being done about broken windows and graffiti.
Chief Weeks said there are no leads in the cases but he welcomes tips. Taxpayer money cannot be used for rewards for private property, he said, but there is a fund set up through Lenawee Crimestoppers.
Tips can be left anonymously by calling 887/276-8477 or on-line at Lenawee’s Most Wanted.
“Lots of kids are out late,” Snyder said, asking about the city’s curfew.
Weeks said the curfew is in effect for children under 16 years of age.