Morenci planning commission 8.19.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

ProMedica Health System received a go-ahead Monday from the Morenci Planning Commission in its plan to move services into the vacant Charles Fay Village building.

Commissioners voted 5-0, with Scott Merillat abstaining, to approve a special use permit. Merillat stepped away from  the planning commission table during the discussion because ProMedica hired his engineering firm to assist with planning.

ProMedica senior vice-president for continuing care, Lori Johnston, reviewed the proposal to move the medical office, laboratory services and physical therapy unit from the Morenci Medical Center (former hospital building) into the Charles Fay Village facility.

The senior citizen center, operated by the Lenawee Department on Aging in the medical center, would also move to the Fay building.

No external changes to the Fay building are planned, Johnston said, but additional parking areas would be added in front and in back of the building. The rear entrance will be used by the senior center guests and for food delivery.

Exterior lighting is planned in the back, but ProMedica representative Rich Laliberte told commissioners it would be shielded to avoid interference to residences in the area.

Signage would also be changed, Johnston said, to reflect the new use of the building, however, she added, Charles Fay will still be part of the name of the facility.

Commissioner Art Erbskorn asked about drainage on the site since problems already exist in the area.

“We’re not directly connecting to any storm sewer,” Merillat said.

Instead, water from the rear parking area will follow the natural flow taken by other surface water onto ProMedica’s property behind the health center. That property will eventually be given to the city.

After studying the situation, Merillat said, it was determined the best course of action would be to use the low ground [appearing as lot 45 on maps] for a temporary detention area. The quantity of water draining from the area will be no greater than it is now, he pointed out, but it will drain faster off pavement than grass.

If the old hospital is demolished, the existing roof area will return to grass, and that’s a larger surface than the proposed parking lot.

Morenci mayor Doug Erskin, who also sits on the planning commission, said the city has not yet determined if it wants to take possession of the health center building. ProMedica has offered two proposals: assume ownership of the building or allow ProMedica to demolish it and then take possession of the land.

Johnston said the wing of the Fay building to the right would house medical services. The dining area remains in the center and the left wing would serve the seniors group.

Some additional space would remain at the end of the seniors wing that could be available for other use in the future.

Commissioners approved the permit contingent on outdoor lighting meeting code and on the replacement of two trees that will be removed.

SALON—Leonie Leahy, who resides at 403 E. Main, was granted a special use permit for a one-chair salon at her residence, contingent on proof of licensure.

Leahy formerly managed a salon in Wauseon and is seeking a license to work in Michigan. She sought the permit in order to work at home.

“It’s a great way for me to have my own business while raising my family,” she said.

Leahy said she won’t be employing anyone else because the facility is small and would require a different license. She intends to place a sign in front of the house, but her business will operate only by appointment.

A neighbor was present at the meeting who stated that she fully supported the salon.

  • 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.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • 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.

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