Good decision on Morenci downtown trees 2012.12.12

Written by David Green.

There was a time several years ago when trees grew in Morenci’s downtown. Seeing some green in the business district was appreciated by most people, but not by everyone.

We remember a few business owners complaining about leaves on the sidewalk and leaves being tracked into their stores. There were also some people who were understandably upset with a buckling sidewalk as the trees grew over the years.

City council aims to alleviate the latter concern by placing trees in large sidewalk planters. As far as the leaves go, we hope business owners decide the added beauty on the downtown streets is worth the time spent with a broom.

Seeing green downtown will depend upon the city’s luck in winning a grant for the project. If the money doesn’t come through, the containers won’t be purchased. Local funding for such a project isn’t readily available.

Approval of the grant application didn’t come easily for council members. Half of the group initially wanted to go after a basic container; the other half favored a more expensive item expected to look much more attractive in the downtown. 

We’re pleased that council members are cautious about spending, but we’re also glad that two councilors changed their minds and went after the more expensive model. It seems like a good investment for an additional $2,200, and that amount might decrease if private donations are received.

Many times over the decades, council members have taken the cheaper approach or simply said “no.” This council broke free of that.

When Morenci’s Main Street rebuilding project was completed in 2002, many complaints and jokes were heard about the excessive width of the new sidewalks.

Finally, we can see why they were built so wide. If the grant comes through, they’ll be a perfect size to hold the new containers for trees.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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