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.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.
  • 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.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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