There was a time several years ago when trees grew in Morenci’s downtown. Seeing some green in the business district was appreciated by most people, but not by everyone.
We remember a few business owners complaining about leaves on the sidewalk and leaves being tracked into their stores. There were also some people who were understandably upset with a buckling sidewalk as the trees grew over the years.
City council aims to alleviate the latter concern by placing trees in large sidewalk planters. As far as the leaves go, we hope business owners decide the added beauty on the downtown streets is worth the time spent with a broom.
Seeing green downtown will depend upon the city’s luck in winning a grant for the project. If the money doesn’t come through, the containers won’t be purchased. Local funding for such a project isn’t readily available.
Approval of the grant application didn’t come easily for council members. Half of the group initially wanted to go after a basic container; the other half favored a more expensive item expected to look much more attractive in the downtown.
We’re pleased that council members are cautious about spending, but we’re also glad that two councilors changed their minds and went after the more expensive model. It seems like a good investment for an additional $2,200, and that amount might decrease if private donations are received.
Many times over the decades, council members have taken the cheaper approach or simply said “no.” This council broke free of that.
When Morenci’s Main Street rebuilding project was completed in 2002, many complaints and jokes were heard about the excessive width of the new sidewalks.
Finally, we can see why they were built so wide. If the grant comes through, they’ll be a perfect size to hold the new containers for trees.