The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Morenci parking project: the inconvenience is temporary 2011.07.20

Written by David Green.

Morenci city administrator Renée Schroeder keeps a close eye on available grants and when she saw the words “parking lot” mentioned in conjunction with grant money, she was flabbergasted. She figures that was the first time ever that she saw a grant that could be used to improve an existing parking area.

She spoke with mayor Keith Pennington about submitting an application and city council supported the project. A good application package was created, and lo and behold, Morenci was chosen. About $600,000 in state funding was awarded, leaving the city to come up with $160,000. It was an excellent investment with that level of return.

And now the inconvenience is underway. Morenci’s south parking lots are going to be mostly out of service for up to seven weeks and parking is at a premium. The alley leading to city hall is closed. Baker Street will be closed. It’s a mess in that part of the city.

The project is described as a parking lot rebuilding effort and that is the focus of the work, but don’t forget the other benefits. Orchard Street will be widened north of LaGrange, and narrow Baker Street will expand to better accommodate traffic. All of that is in addition to a much-needed new parking surface, curbing and sidewalk at the back of businesses, and an overall more attractive area behind the commercial district with a controlled traffic flow and spaces for foliage.

We understand that not all business owners are satisfied with the plan, but we’re grateful they chose to go along with the project. They all offered easements onto their property to allow the design to be completed. They had the option of refusing—in effect, spoiling the effort by creating unusable, unattractive space—but none of them took that approach. 

Eventually the project will cross Main Street and the inconvenience will move to a new location when parking is created between Johnson’s Hardware and the Observer office. Our inconvenience in this office is an order to evacuate for a day while the Dunbar Auction building is demolished. We hope the inconvenience ends there, leaving the Observer office still standing strong without its neighbor built up against it.

Although the project is causing some headaches for merchants, keep in mind that all of the inconveniences are temporary. When the project is complete, Morenci will have much more attractive parking areas for customers to use when they shop at local stores.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016