By DAVID GREEN
Morenci mayor Keith Pennington has seen little action on sidewalk repair following a storm in late May, and he urged city council members Monday to give property owners a push.
“I think we ought to contact these property owners and make them aware of the matching funds that are available if they choose to get them done quickly,” Pennington said
He added that council should be prepared to have the city do the work without the cost share program if property owners don’t take action. He’s concerned about missing sections of sidewalk that will become even more of a hazard when snow covers the ground.
The severe storm that blew through May 29 toppled many trees in the city, and some of those lifted sidewalk sections when they fell.
City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder said she would send a letter and application form for city assistance to inform property owners that the city will pay $7 a running foot. If the owners fail to make repairs, city code calls for the city to have the work done and the cost added to the property tax bill—without the city contributing to the cost.
Schroeder said the next phase of repair in the city-wide plan is along Page Street as an effort continues to have walks repaired or installed near the schools.
Council member Tracy Schell asked if there were sufficient funds to help with both storm repair and work along Page Street.
“I consider this to be a priority,” Pennington said about the storm repair, and Schell agreed.
Schroeder said she will have a financial report about the sidewalk fund for the next council meeting.
PARKING LOT—The mayor asked if the DPW should remove the remaining signs along the west side of the fire department that call for reserved parking for fire department members.
Pennington said the parking is now improved alongside the fire department, plus there are now seven additional parking spots on the west side of Baker Street.
Schell said she sees no reason to take them down. She said it’s fine with her to have parking reserved for the fire department.
Fire department member Delbert McClain said he doesn’t expect that people would park in those spaces, however, he does think the striping for parking spots is slanted the wrong way since the majority of firefighters are turning off Main Street. He doesn’t expect that fire personnel will take the time to park properly.
Angled parking was chosen to make the spaces longer to accommodate large pickup trucks, Pennington said. He said the angle has to follow the lane of traffic.
Councilor Jason Cook said he can’t imagine that parking tickets would be issued during an emergency.
LANDSCAPING—Council met in a special meeting last Wednesday morning to approve the low, combined bid from T&R Total Lawn Care and R&W Nursery for the addition of topsoil in the landscape areas of the new parking lots. The cost is not to exceed $6,000.
At the Monday meeting, council approved R&W’s low bid to provide trees, shrubs and perennials in the landscape areas at a cost of $23,314. Three other bids came in as high as $29,200.
Midwest Energy will donate a bench, manufactured by Roth Fabricating, to be placed somewhere in the new parking lot.
In the north parking lot next to Johnson Hardware, concrete work could begin this week if final survey work is completed.
ELECTION—Inspectors for the Nov. 8 election are Gail Johnson, chair; Joyce Woerner and Tonia Hoffman.
LIBRARY—Council approved additional three-year terms for Stair Public Library board members Sally Kruger and Mike Gillen.
LAND—Council members had no interest in taking ownership of a landlocked parcel of land off Weston Road. The property owner offered it to the city to take it off the tax roll.