Morenci parking lot project discussed 07.14.2010

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Discussion about the city’s parking lot rebuild proposal continued at the committee level Monday night and only took a short break before starting in again at the regular council meeting.

A few lingering concerns were expressed by audience members before council members voted unanimously to accept a revised plan submitted by Associated Engineers of Adrian.

The city will seek the release of funds from the state in August and council members will then decide the next step in the project. Work might be started yet this year or delayed until the spring.

The $760,000 project—backed by a $600,000 grant—will rebuild the city’s two parking lots on the south side of Main Street, widen Baker Street and Orchard Street south of LaGrange, and create a new parking area north of Johnson’s Hardware.

The project calls for the demolition of the house located on the northeast corner of Orchard and LaGrange, the former Grange/community center and Dunbar Auction House on North Street.

Ron Shaffer asked who would handle snow removal behind the Eagles and who would maintain the green space that will be built behind the club.

The city will maintain the green areas, mayor Keith Pennington said. City supervisor Barney Vanderpool added that the city will continue to remove snow as in the past.

Pearl Phelps, owner of Pearl’s Pizza Palace, expressed concern about the location of the Dumpster that businesses will use. She prefers to have a trash receptacle at the back door of her business rather than walk across the parking lot, particularly in winter with ice.

The design intentionally moves Dumpsters away from the back doors of buildings.

Kris Swartz asked about the sidewalk proposed for the south side of Baker Street. Pennington said sufficient interest was not expressed from property owners about receiving a free sidewalk in trade for a property easement for the walk. Therefore, no sidewalk will be installed since there isn’t room without the easement.

Fire chief Chad Schisler had expressed concern at a previous meeting about room for his trucks with the green islands in place. He said Monday night that he was happy with the changes made.

  • 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.

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