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.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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • 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.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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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