Morenci walking trail 02.24.2010

Written by David Green.

At a workshop in city hall in October 2008, a couple dozen residents met to discuss a proposed walking path that would connect Wakefield Park to Riverside Park.

The cost of the engineers’ presentation was paid through a grant from the Fay Foundation, but the project was pushed to the side due to the high cost of the project.

Morenci mayor Keith Pennington brought the walking path concept back to the forefront Monday night when he surprised council with an announcement.

A donor is willing to pay Morenci’s 30 percent match of the project if the city succeeds in obtaining a grant through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

“Someone wants to pay Morenci’s share and establish a trust fund for maintenance,” Pennington said.

Pennington said he’s met with the donor twice and explained that it’s a real financial commitment to the city and he would need evidence of commitment from the donor prior to submitting an application.

A preliminary design of the project calls for a path from Main Street north along Bean Creek. A pedestrian bridge would carry walkers into Riverside Park where the path would continue. It also calls for a loop in the path between the two parks.

With the bridge and substantial native landscaping, the project could exceed $300,000.

A public hearing is scheduled at 7:30 p.m. March 8, before the council meeting, to collect comment on the proposal and also on a proposed five-year community recreation plan.

Pennington said the donor wishes to remain anonymous at the present time.

  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • 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.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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

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