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.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
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    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
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    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
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    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
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    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
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    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
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