Morenci parking lot project update 03.23.2011

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Morenci city council approved several weeks ago a preliminary design for the parking lot rebuilding project, but a few items have yet to be decided.

Engineers are zeroing in on the final details, mayor Keith Pennington told council members at the March 14 meeting but there are still some decisions to make.

Pennington said the city could buy its own street lights for the parking lot, like it did with the Main Street project, rather than rely on lights hanging from utility poles. Pennington said he would like to explore the costs.

Another thing to consider, he said, is the installation of an irrigation system in the “green areas” of the parking lot. That, also, was done along Main Street to water the hanging baskets supplied by the Morenci Garden Club. In this case, the mayor said, it would address some maintenance concerns with the green spaces.

The green areas containing shrubs and other plantings are still opposed by some residents. Pennington recently met with the Downtown Development Authority and was told the structures will take up parking spaces.

“That’s correct to some extent,” Pennington said, “but the green space helps control traffic.”

Engineers added the green areas for aesthetic purposes and also to prevent people from driving across the width of the parking lot instead of using entrances and exits.

Pennington said he was told by one person that concrete planters are not needed at all. He also heard a suggestion that all of the proposed curbing should be eliminated from the plans to help with snow removal.

The mayor also heard opposition to the proposed closure of a short, private alley on the north side of city hall.

Ketan Patel, who hopes to open a Subway restaurant downtown, was at the meeting and asked if the proposed location of the trash receptacles could be moved into the alley location.

Patel noticed from the parking lot design that his staff would have to walk 20 parking spaces to reach the Dumpster. He expects that his business would have a larger volume of trash than most other stores in the area.

“We looked at several locations and tried to accommodate several businesses,” Pennington said.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
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    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
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  • 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.

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