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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    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
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    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
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    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of 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.

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