Parking rebuild proposal introduced 02.10.10

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Elected officials often aren’t pleased to face a large audience at a public meeting, but that’s not the case with a proposal facing Morenci city council.

Mayor Keith Pennington wants to see citizens in city hall Feb. 22 when council discusses a proposal to rebuild parking areas on the south side of the business district.

Pennington presented a drawing of the proposal Monday, noting that it’s far from being a final plan.

Scott Merillat of Associated Engineers in Adrian said the drawing was done fairly quickly as a starting point for discussion. He said he wouldn’t be offended by questions and challenges to the plan, and other options are available.

The initial design calls for the lots in front and in back of city hall to be repaved. Curbing would be installed along the entire length of Baker Street and in the alley leading from Main Street to city hall.

Several small “green islands” with shrubbery would be created in both lots.

The narrow width of Baker Street and the north block of Orchard Street could lead to one-way traffic once curbing is installed. Merillat cautioned that the drawing was completed from an aerial photograph and the exact dimensions would not be known until survey work was done.

After viewing a parking project in Tecumseh, a plan to cluster trash Dumpsters was added to the drawing rather than the existing condition of receptacles at the back doors of businesses.

“It would clean up the back of businesses quite a lot,” Pennington said, but added, “How do business owners feel about that? We’d like to know.”

The mayor said council needs to look at proposed changes as a fix for the next 50 years.

Audience member Colleen Leddy said she appreciates the space designated for greenery.

“As a Tree City,” she said, “we should put trees in whenever we do something.”

Pennington noted that the green islands will present a maintenance challenge and he’s seeking ideas about that, also.

Tackling the project depends on the city’s ability to receive a grant through the Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement (ICE) program.

Money will be allocated in the next budget to rebuild the east parking lot. Without spending a lot more money, Pennington said, the west lot could also be addressed if grant money was received.

Funds from the sale of the communications tower property in the industrial park could be directed to the project.

“We’ve never seen a grant quite like this,” said city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder. “It’s very hard and very costly for a community to keep up parking areas.”

The proposal faces time constraints to meet the grant application deadline. Pennington said council is accepting ideas, but they will have to be submitted soon.

PROMEDICA—Council voted to accept a warranty deed for the former Morenci Area Hospital property from ProMedica Health Systems.

The city attorney examined the document and said the city’s environmental concerns were addressed.

  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017