By DAVID GREEN
Morenci city council members voted Monday add a part-time office position at city hal. The post will be filled by the person who’s been helping out at city hall on an on-call basis.
Council voted unanimously to hire Leasa Slocum to the permanent part-time position of office assistant. She will work 24 hours a week at a starting wage of $8.75 an hour, starting Nov. 2.
Slocum, who serves as a city council member, was absent from the meeting. She isn’t seeking another term on council and the job will begin as her elected term ends.
Eight qualified candidates were interviewed, said council member Tracy Schell, but Slocum’s previous experience in the office made her the best choice.
In the fall election, Jeff Bell, Brenda Spiess and Rebecca Berger filed petitions to fill the three seats that will be vacated by Slocum, Jason Cook and Art Erbskorn.
Council is currently accepting letters of interest to fill a councilor position recently vacated by Joe Varga who resigned due to a change in his work schedule.
Mayor Keith Pennington thanked Varga for his service with the city, and he also expressed appreciation to Sue Snyder who has served as Town and County Festival committee chair for five years.
PROPERTY—Council voted to accept the updated International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC) that the city uses. The update covers changes made in the 2009 edition of the document.
The city follows the IPMC with the exception of the section pertaining to grass and weed regulations. The city has its own ordinance for that.
PARKING LOT—Council learned that Consumers Energy will move a utility pole in the new North Street parking area at no cost to the city. A clause in the easement calls for the utility company to move a pole in the case of construction.
At the advice of the city engineer, council hired TTL Associates for quality testing of the parking lot project. The engineer will determine what tests to order.
TRAINING—Morenci Area EMS coordinator Larry Weeks will seek a grant to help pay for EMT training in Morenci.
AMBULANCE—Council accepted the bid from LifeStar Rescue for a new ambulance. LifeStar was the only company of four that were contacted to return a bid.
The ambulance will be paid for by a $130,000 federal grant plus funds from Morenci Area EMS savings ($145,33 total) without taking out a loan.
Weeks noted that he’s seen prices range from $160,000 to $180,000 for recent ambulance purchases in the area. One difference in the lower cost of Morenci’s new vehicle is the choice of a gasoline engine rather than diesel. That cut the cost by about $20,000.
Weeks said gas engines are not typically used by Lenawee County agencies, although they’re quite common in many areas including Fulton County.
VIDEO—Council approved a budgeted purchase of new in-car video systems for two police cruisers. The two units cost $10,175. The police equipment fund will be used to cover the installation cost.
SEARCHERS—Weeks said the Shiawassee County Search and Rescue group was in town for the seventh time since the initial training session. The volunteers were again unsuccessful in tracking down any clues in the case of the missing Skelton brothers.
AID—Council approved a request by fire chief Chad Schisler to accept the updated county mutual aid agreement.