Morenci city council 01.12.11

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci mayor Keith Pennington is looking for a little give and take in the next step of the parking lot rebuild project.

After talking with engineers designing the new parking areas, Pennington learned the preferred plan is to create a new property line at the back of the businesses located on the south side of Main Street.

Many businesses have differing back property lines, Pennington told council members Monday. The lines are ascribed to an old alley that was never platted and doesn’t actually exist.

Rather than create a sidewalk that would follow a jagged line across the north side of the parking lot, engineers suggest striking a new straight line to establish the edge of properties for placement of a curb and sidewalk.

Any existing property south of the line would be given to the city; any of the city’s property that falls north of the line would be given to the business owner.

Pennington said the area between the sidewalk and the back of the business would be concrete, but business owners would be able to plan landscaping if they chose.

Pennington sought council’s approval for him to contact businesses with drawings in hand to seek cooperation from owners.

“I think it will make for a much cleaner project for us,” he said, “and in the future it will enhance their properties.”

Pennington described two other changes in the project.

At the west end, the owner of the former video rental store agreed to deed a portion of the property on the building’s east end to the city. This will allow Baker Street to shift to the west, creating a wider parking area along the fire hall and creating seven new parking spaces on the west side of Baker Street.

A sidewalk will also be included in the project.

On the east end of the parking lots, the owners of the Village Inn restaurant agreed to give away a few feet of their property for construction of a sidewalk.

The walk will connect with Main Street and travel to the new sidewalk that will be built along the back of businesses.

The project will require the removal of the existing landscaping along the restaurant, but new planting is planned.

“I think this will greatly improve the visibility and safety of the parking lots,” Pennington said about the sidewalks.

Councilor Greg Braun agreed, stating that people will no longer have to walk behind cars parked at the restaurant.

Council members voted unanimously, with Art Erbskorn absent, to accept the engineers’ design and seek approval from business owners for the new property line.

MEDICAL MARIJUANA—Council approved a recommendation by councilor Tracy Schell to continue the moritorium on  medical marijuana dispensaries for up to an additional 12 months while awaiting further direction from the federal level.

SUBWAY—Schroeder said the façade grant request filed by Ketan Patel of Mason, Mich., will be considered by a state panel in February. Patel intends to renovate the Knoblauch building on Main Street and open a Subway restaurant.

NWD—City supervisor Barney Vanderpool told council he has winterized the former N.W.D. building at the back of Wakefield Park. The building was used during the Kiwanis Wishing Tree project. Vanderpool said it can easily be reopened if it’s rented.

PROMEDICA—Pennington said there’s been discussion at the committee level about when ProMedica Health System will give the city possession of the ambulance training facility.

  • Homecoming Court
    HOMECOMING—One senior candidate will be chosen Morenci’s fall homecoming queen during half-time ceremonies Friday at the football field. In the back row are seniors Mikayla Price, who will be escorted by Mason Vaughn; Madison Bachman, escorted by Kiegan Merillat, and Mikayla Reinke, escorted by Griffin Grieder. Senior Ariana Roseman is absent from the photo. Her escort is Garrett Smith. In the front is sophomore Abbie White, who will be escorted by Ryder Price; junior Madysen Schmitz, escorted by Harley McCaskey and freshman Madison Keller, escorted by Jarett Cook.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in 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.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.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.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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