Porter Lumber Co. building demolished 6.5.09

Written by David Green.

The slow dismantling of the former Porter Lumber Company buildings in Morenci sped up Saturday afternoon when the showroom and offices were demolished due to safety concerns.

A crew of Amish workers had been taking apart buildings on the site for several months, said Keith Pennington of the Morenci Church of the Nazarene. The church owns the property.

Last week the roof trusses were removed from the main building, leaving the old concrete block walls standing.

The owner of neighboring property contacted city officials when he was concerned the walls might fall before they were to be demolished.

If the front wall were to collapse, he said, material could fall onto the sidewalk and utility poles could be damaged. The poles support primary electric lines into the downtown area.

City building inspector Kevin Arquette made the decision to collapse the walls and Mel’s Construction of Waldron was hired to do the work.

 As a precaution, Consumer’s Energy shut the power off through the line while the front wall was knocked over.

Pennington apologized on behalf of the church for any inconvenience the shutoff might have caused, but he was pleased that a relatively short interruption was possible rather than a much longer outage had there been an accident.

Arquette was also happy with how smoothly the operation went. Consumers and Michigan Gas Utilities were both involved, in addition to the fire department, which assisted with traffic control.

“For the first time running through something like that, everything went really well,” 
Arquette said. “It was a well-coordinated effort.”

Pennington will check with the Amish crew to see what else they might want from the site for recycling before the debris will be removed. He said the property will be cleaned off and the grades made safe.

The church bought the property with plans to construct a new worship facility and community center.

Currently, there are no plans to build on the site, Pennington said, and the church will consider selling the land to an interested buyer.

  • 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.

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