2011.08.03 Keith Pennington: Parking lot project

Written by David Green.

Halfway Home

Whether you are running a race, mowing the yard or heading home to grandma’s house for Thanksgiving, hitting the halfway mark can lift your spirits. You have less to finish than you have already accomplished. This week marks the halfway point anticipated to complete rebuilding of the parking lots.

We started removing the pavement on July 18th and finished that task that same day. The project had all the appearances of moving much more quickly than anticipated. However, these last couple of weeks, all but the trained eye would wonder what if anything has been going on. The underground improvement work that has taken place is harder to appreciate than what is on the surface. However, like most building projects, what you start with underground is just as important as the finished project that everyone will see.

Electric poles have been moved. Storm drains installed to properly drain the parking lot and all the water coming from the building downspouts have been directed into those drains. Gas lines and phone lines have been moved, cables for television and internet have been re-routed and water lines repaired. 

We’ve found things that all but the senior citizens would have been surprised by: remnants of a bowling alley behind the bank, foundations of a factory in front of city hall and coal chutes; let’s talk about coal chutes. It seems as though there was a coal chute extending from the parking lot into every other building!

Some of the problems encountered each day made it inconvenient or costly for a business owner. Sometimes it was the city’s cost to bear. Each day it seems that the city staff needed to negotiate an issue that would satisfy the business owner, the engineer and the contractor.

Your city’s staff has done a tremendous job thus far. Each department is giving it their best so that the project will be completed on time and with the best possible results. Please be sure to thank them when you have the opportunity.

This week, most of the tearing out should be completed and you will be encouraged when you see the new features being installed. Continue to be patient, support your local businesses and look forward to the project being completed by Labor Day. As we begin to enjoy the improvements, I trust the inconvenience, dust and commotion will begin to fade from our collective memories. 

– Keith Pennington

Mayor of Morenci

  • 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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