2009.09.02 Larry Stover: Manufacturing space is important

Written by David Green.

I’ve been listening to the debate on whether we as a community should take a valuable industrial property and turn it into a building that will house our police department. I haven’t offered an opinion and I haven’t been asked by any council person to comment on this endeavor, but after reading the editorial last week I felt the need to speak out.

Before I begin I’d like to say that I appreciate and respect our police department and feel their needs have to be met so they can serve our community in the capacity we all want as citizens. It’s just in any decision we make as a community it needs to be thoroughly thought out and I don’t feel the council has listened to people on both sides of the debate.

When our city takes valuable industrial property which can make money and turns it into a building that will consume money then we ought to take a harder look at the decision we’re making. You have to understand it’s going to cost a lot more money to bring that building to code and meet the needs of the police department. So compare these facts: to lease industrial property it costs somewhere in the neighborhood of $6 per square foot. This, of course, is a building that has been wired for 440 three-phase, has shipping capabilities for truck lines, and has considerable ceiling height to house machines for manufacturing. You want these buildings to be in good shape so you don’t have to worry about having expensive machines damaged by outside weather elements, too. Any of these are perks for a company to move into a facility, but having all of them, which to my knowledge is what this building has, is a deal maker. This building has about 8,000 square feet which in turn could pay $48,000 per year in lease payments. Even if we make deals with companies to locate there we’d be further ahead than the path we’re heading down.

Let me focus on another item: To have a manufacturing facility that has the size to employ 20 to 40 employees using the average of $14 per hour it would generate nearly $600,000 per year or up to $1.2 million in wages. Not to mention the possibility of them purchasing housing in town, buying products from the local businesses and bringing more students into our school district. These are all win-win situations that could happen.

Granted, manufacturing is down globally, but I think it will be back and that there will be a need to create manufacturing jobs in the U.S., Michigan and better yet in Morenci. Let’s think about this again and keep that facility for what it was made for, industry.

– Larry Stover

E. Chestnut Street

  • 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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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