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.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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