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.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.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • 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.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

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