Morenci city council OKs demolition bid 02.23.2011

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council turned to a firm from Ludington, Mich., to handle the demolition of the former Grange Hall and the abandoned residence to the south.

Among eight bids received, council went with the low bid of $25,000 from Smalley Construction to demolish two Orchard Street buildings.

Bids ranged as high as $62,500, a fact that caused councilor Leasa Slocum to ask why such a discrepancy exists.

Mayor Keith Pennington said the company was researched to make sure it was adequate to get the job done appropriately.

City supervisor Barney Vanderpool said Smalley Construction has its own in-house asbestos processing equipment. He believes that could make a difference in the bid prices.

Weather permitting, said city adminstrator/clerk Renée Schroeder, she expects demolition to be complete by the end of March. Final grading and seeding would depend on weather conditions.

The Grange Hall was constructed in 1923 and has been used for a variety of uses including a community center and dance instruction facility. The residence to the south had been rented by Van Havel Homes.

The demolition will allow Orchard Street to be widened in conjunction with the parking lot rehabilitation and expansion project. The $761,000 project includes CDBG infrastructure improvement grant of nearly $600,000.

GRANTS—The Morenci Fire Department is in line for $3,050 grant through the Michigan DNR for the purchase of brush fire masks, two radios and a replacement for the portable pump used on the Ranger vehicle. The department is required to make a 50 percent match.

The department will also receive a Public Safety Interoperability Communications grant to upgrade radios. The department will contribute 25 percent of the nearly $8,000 cost.

The radio upgrade project has been in the works for about five years, said fire chief Chad Schisler.

  • 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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    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.
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    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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