By DAVID GREEN
Morenci city council took another step in the process to demolish two buildings on Orchard Street in preparation for the parking lot rebuild project.
Council approved a measure to seek bids for an asbestos survey for the old Grange building and the house to the south, located at the intersection of Orchard and LaGrange streets.
City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder expects the asbestos survey to delay demolition by a month.
Council also gave Schroeder permission to proceed with bids for demolition. She expects that bids will be due Dec. 9 and demolition should follow in mid-January or February.
Requests for items from the Grange Hall will be made through the firm chosen to demolish the building.
Councilors voted to allow the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce to construct a haunted house inside the former TNG building at the back of Wakefield Park, contingent on approval from the city’s liability insurer.
Since the building is owned by the city, mayor Keith Pennington suggested that a council member review the plans and sign off on the project. Everyone’s has a different idea of what’s safe, he said. Leasa Slocum volunteered to look over the group’s plans as they’re created.
Pennington said he expects some guidelines from the insurance company about what would be allowed.
Chamber representatives at the meeting said they also intend to build an outdoor maze for younger children.
The Halloween event is planned Oct. 23 in the park.
VOLUNTEER—Council approved the return of former fire department member Jeremy Summers, pending a background check. Summers left the area several years ago but is now back in Morenci.
LIBRARY—Stair Public Library board members Kathy Schiermyer, Sandy Emmons and Lois Speed were appointed to additional three-year terms.
DONATION—Mayor Pennington told council members that Ken and Betty Richardson donated $12,500 to the city to use “as we see fit.” The city paid the Richardsons that amount to acquire property for the parking lot project.
WATER—Water service to the EMS building was severed from the former hospital and a new line was installed.
VOTING—Schroeder stated that Monday is the final day to register to vote in the November General Election.
ALCOHOL—Council voted 6-1, with Mayor Pennington in opposition, for an alcohol permit requested by the Eagles club. The club will again operate a beer tent at the Town and Country Festival.
HALLOWEEN—The Morenci Bible Fellowship was granted permission to use the city parking lot northwest of the church on Oct. 31 for a Trunk or Treat project.
Morenci’s trick or treat hours are from 6 to 8 p.m. that night.