Morenci planning commission 8.19.09

Written 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.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.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • 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.

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