By DAVID GREEN
The next step in the proposed police station move was approved by Morenci city council members Monday after police chief Larry Weeks presented engineering plans.
Chief Weeks said he spoke with engineer Todd Dailey on several occasions to explain proposed changes in the city’s vacant building at the back of Wakefield Park.
In reviewing the changes in the office area of the building, Weeks pointed out a reception/radio room, an interrogation/interview room, a locker room for officers, an area containing desks for each full-time officer and a desk for part-time officers to share. There would also be an office for the chief and a room for holding evidence.
Weeks said it’s the area in back of the existing office area where most of the changes would occur.
A door would be added for entrance to a garage area and a storage area would be created for storage of found items such as the dozens of bicycles that have been collected.
The police department’s area would also have to be securely separated from the space that the DPW could use to store equipment. This would require a floor to ceiling wall.
In addition, a handicap-compliant restroom would be needed.
“My desire would be to get your approval to go out for bids on this,” Weeks said, “so we can really have some understanding of what it’s going to cost.”
Weeks was asked if the engineering plans include the recycling center. At previous meetings there had been talk about relocating the center to the vacant industrial space. He said that his effort has only been in relation to the police department, but his understanding is that costs for the recycling center would be minor.
Audience member Nancy Schang asked if the city has the funds to pay for the move. Mayor Keith Pennington said that’s unknown because the costs have not yet been determined. The motion being considered now, he said, is whether to seek bids to determine the costs.
“I think we’ll have more opportunity when the bids come back to talk about whether it’s worth spending money on and where the money would come from if we have the money,” Pennington said.
The engineering drawings cost $2,600.
LEDC—Councilors voted to give permission to Morenci’s representatives on the Lenawee Economic Development Corporation (LEDC) to negotiate a change in the terms of a loan from the city.
The change would result in five annual payments and a loss of $2,500 on the principal balance owed.
The loan resulted from the purchase of the former M&S buildings by the LEDC. When it was discovered that environmental work was needed at the site, the LEDC asked city council to pay the cost of $22,560 to take a stake in the purchase of the buildings. Council instead agreed to a five-year, interest-free loan.
The LEDC bank note is now due, Pennington said, and the group is asking city council to extend the terms of its loan an additional three years, and allow the group to make annual payments rather than a lump-sum payment at the end. LEDC also suggested a reduction of about 10 percent in the money owed the city.
Rather than agree to the changes, council voted to negotiate any changes after the bank considers its response to the issue.
PERSONNEL—Council hired Laurie Schisler to work 17 hours a week at the city’s recycling center. The current hours for the center will remain the same. She will be paid $8 an hour and receive no benefits.
Richard Hoadley was hired as an on-call DPW worker to help out in emergencies such as snow clearing or waterline breaks. He will be paid $17 an hour.
Hoadley worked for the city for several years and will need no training, Pennington said.
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