Morenci city council; snow removal 1.28

By DAVID GREEN

The best solution for dealing with failure to clear walks of snow? Hope for warmer weather.

City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder told city council members Monday that she heard several complaints about snow on sidewalks after 10 inches of snow fell earlier in the month.

Typically, she said, city workers handle the job when the ordinance isn’t followed and the property owner is billed for the work. The DPW is understaffed now, she said, and workers are busy removing snow from streets and parking lots following storms.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool said a private contractor with smaller equipment should be hired. He thought that had been done in the past.

Schroeder said the process is more difficult now due to the housing market.

“We’re at the point now with some foreclosed houses that we don’t even know who to bill,” she said.

Tracking down the bank can be very difficult, said police chief Larry Weeks. It’s often located in another state and representatives have never heard of Morenci.

Schroeder said it wouldn’t be good for the city to clear the walk of an occupied house, but leave walks snow covered at vacant houses where there’s no one to pay the cost.

Council member Keith Pennington said that some complaints are lodged unfairly. If snow stops falling in the afternoon, the property owner has until noon the next day to clear snow.

Rather than hire a contractor with power equipment, an audience member suggested hiring individuals in need of employment to work with a snow shovel. That idea was rejected due to liability concerns.

Vanderpool said he is occasionally contacted by people required to perform community service, but they typically fail to show up for work.

Another audience member suggested contacting the high school’s Volunteer Club to assist residents who aren’t able to shovel their own walk.

Rather than go through a bidding process, councilor Tracy Schell suggested the city should seek a contractor by giving a price paid for the work and asking if the person is willing to work at that cost.

Vanderpool was asked to look at costs and come up with a plan to address occupied homes where the owner fails to clear snow.

Citizens with complaints about snowy walks should contact city hall.

BOARD—Al Acuña was appointed to fill a vacancy on the city’s board of review.

INSPECTOR—Harry Hutchison was selected as an alternate building inspector.

  • Front.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.