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.

  • 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.
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    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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