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.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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