Morenci council seeks drawings for police move 9.16.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Another Morenci city council meeting, another plea from audience members to reconsider moving the police station.

Council members voted 5-1 Monday night to proceed with site plan estimates to convert the NWD industrial building to a new police station, recycling center and storage area for Department of Public Works materials.

The building is located at the back of Wakefield Park and has been vacant since a business moved out at the end of last year.

The same motion came to halt at the Aug. 10 meeting when it failed to attract a second. This time the issue moved forward by a 5-1 vote, with mayor Doug Erskin voting against the motion and Leasa Slocum absent from the meeting.

The motion calls for the expenditure of $2,600 for engineer Todd Dailey to develop site plan drawings for the conversion of the building. Dailey will charge an additional fee for extra copies of the plans.

The original motion was amended to include a review of the project with regard to city code in addition to state building code specifications.

Any time the use of a building is changed, said council member Keith Pennington, the property must be brought up to current specifications.

“Todd should do an overview of city code to check for other needs,” he said.

Mayor Doug Erskin pointed out to audience members that the engineering request will give council members cost estimates and then further evaluation of the project will be made.

Audience member Jan Sampson told council the process is backwards.

“All the things we’re discussing now should have been discussed and checked out before we had a motion,” she said. “We’re going it all backwards.”

City council voted 6-1 on June 8 to approve the police move, but the costs involved have not yet been determined.

Audience member Colleen Leddy asked if a recent letter to the editor had swayed the opinion of any council members about giving up potential manufacturing space.

Jason Cook said he’s not firm in his decision and wants to examine the costs before making a final decision.

Tracy Schell said she still stands behind  council’s decision. She said the use of a vacant building that the city already owns is “a terrific idea.”

“It’s only been empty eight months,” Leddy said. “The potential of the building is something to preserve.”

City clerk/administrator Renée Schroeder noted that there was also discussion about possibly adding on to the existing police station. She wondered if Dailey could also give an estimate for that, but Weeks said that would require a separate site plan with an additional cost.

  • 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
  • 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.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.

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