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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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.

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