Morenci city council OKs land sale for tower 2.11

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council members might have thought they were finished with the land sale to SBA Towers, but the issue returned to council Monday for what should be the final time.

“We were under the impression that everything was in order the last time we passed this,” explained Keith Pennington of council’s Legal and Finance committee.

On Jan. 13, councilors approved the sale of .24 acres of land in the city’s industrial park to SBA Towers for $69,000, minus credit for a lease payment. The property is enclosed by the fence surrounding the tower.

That pact was also approved by an official for SBA, Pennington said, but when the deal worked its way up higher through the company’s hierarchy, SBA wanted an extension of about 20 feet to the east, for a total of .31 acres.

This was requested in case the addition of antennae in the future required the construction of a structure on the ground to support an antenna’s function.

Pennington amended his previous motion to include the additional ground and noted the sale price was now at $65,775 due to the arrival of another lease payment. Councilors approved the motion unanimously.

An audience member asked why the price didn’t increase for more property. Pennington explained that the small parcel was not worth $65,000. The price should be considered buying out of the lease agreement rather than a property purchase.

Another audience member asked if it would be in the city’s best interest to remain tied in with lease payment.

Mayor Doug Erskin said the issue was thoroughly investigated last year, with spreadsheets created to compare the two options.

“With technology changing,” Erskin said, “we don’t know how long they’ll need cell towers.”

No one could answer a question about whether the property would revert to the city if abandoned, but city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder said the SBA is required to remove the antenna if the company chose to abandon the property.

The road leading from Skyline Industrial Drive to the tower remains owned by the city, with SBA granted an easement to use the road.

  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Front.sculpta
    SCULPTORS—Morenci third grade students Emersyn Thompson (left) and Marissa Lawrence turn spaghetti sticks into mini sculptures Friday during a class visit to Stair District Library. All Morenci Elementary School classes recently visited the library to experience the creative construction toys purchased through the “Sculptamania!” project, funded by a Disney Curiosity Creates grant. The grant is administered by the Association for Library Services to Children, a division of the American Library Association.
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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