The old Parker Rust Proof property on the west side of Mill Street in Morenci has a new owner. Bill Foster and his brother, Dan, became the owners of the vacant property Monday when the deed was transferred from the Henkel Corporation.
Bill Foster said he started thinking about acquiring the land after he read a story in the Observer about a representative from Henkel talking about the property at a city council meeting.
The property starts at Main Street with a narrow strip of land running along Mill Street where the Parker office building once stood. After that it widens to the west and extends northward past Congress Street.
Foster said the property even includes a narrow strip of land on the west side of Bean Creek along Wakefield Park.
The property adjacent to the Henkel land—the former lumber yard location—is owned by the Morenci Church of the Nazarene. Several years ago church members discussed building a new church and community center on the property.
“We have a few ideas for using the property,” Foster said, although he’s not yet ready to announce specific plans.
The property was at one time listed by the Michigan Department of Environment Quality as having environmental problems, but Henkel addressed the concerns.
Foster said he checked with the DEQ and the only stipulation for development is a prohibition for obtaining drinking water from a well.
Morenci city administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder said she was not aware of any final resolution on the environmental status of the property.