By DAVID GREEN
Morenci city council members will consider a request by the summer ball board of directors to bring the program back under the auspices of the city government.
The new Morenci Little League president Tim Decker told council Monday that years ago the summer ball program was part of the city’s recreation department. He’s not sure when the change occurred, but he thinks the program belongs with the city.
“We’re not asking for money,” Decker said, but affiliation with the city will allow tax-deductible donations to the program.
“We want to do what’s best for the kids,” Decker said, and he believes the initial step is affiliation with the city.
City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder spoke with Decker earlier about the proposal and she’s awaiting a response from the city attorney to see if he has any concerns about the change.
Schroeder and council member Rebecca Berger will meet with Decker to discuss the proposal further.
Decker said the change will make the ball program’s finances accountable to the city, which he favors.
He also said the board intends to run the concession stand, but is willing to work with other groups if any are interested in taking part.
He’s hoping the girls 11- and 12-year-old softball program will also become part of the Little League program with the city.
The next board meeting is scheduled at 4 p.m. Feb. 24 and the first player registration date is Feb. 23 at city hall.
DEVELOPMENT—Mayor Keith Pennington told council that he and Schroeder toured the vacant Palm Plastics building with the regional representative from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.
Pennington thinks the visitor was very impressed with the facility and that he left with a good impression of the city as a whole. His visit also included a tour of General Broach.
Pennington and Schroeder created a package highlighting the features of the Palm building for state development officials to use.
“I assure the community that council is very much concerned about the economic climate of the city,” Pennington said. “While we don’t have something to report every week, there are a lot of efforts being put forward to increase our industrial base.”
Schroeder said she and Pennington will meet this week with state representatives to talk about the county revolving loan fund that might be used for the sale of Johnson’s Hardware store.
GEAR—Councilor Tracy Schell asked council to approve the donation of old fire department turnout gear. With Jeff Bell absent, council approved the motion 6-0.
There are fire departments in the Upper Peninsula that might put the gear to use, she said, and another alternative is the Dominican Republic.
ODOR—City supervisor Barney Vanderpool said Wonder Makers Environmental collected air samples at city hall in a continuing effort to track down the cause of a persistent, unpleasant odor.
The company gave some suggestions for further investigation and will send a report highlighting an analysis of air samples taken in various locations.
LIBRARY—Council approved library board minutes that included the hiring of a new assistant, Pam Hollstein.
PLANNERS—Brad Lonis and Mayor Pennington were appointed to the planning commission to give the board the minimum number of members required.
Other members are Joe Varga, Robert Jennings, Art Erbskorn, Lowell Oberhaus and Brad Frederick.
VISITOR—State senator Bruce Caswell spoke to council about changes in state taxes. A report of his visit will be published in next week’s Observer.