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.

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