Morenci council seeks drawings for police move 9.16.09

By DAVID GREEN

Another Morenci city council meeting, another plea from audience members to reconsider moving the police station.

Council members voted 5-1 Monday night to proceed with site plan estimates to convert the NWD industrial building to a new police station, recycling center and storage area for Department of Public Works materials.

The building is located at the back of Wakefield Park and has been vacant since a business moved out at the end of last year.

The same motion came to halt at the Aug. 10 meeting when it failed to attract a second. This time the issue moved forward by a 5-1 vote, with mayor Doug Erskin voting against the motion and Leasa Slocum absent from the meeting.

The motion calls for the expenditure of $2,600 for engineer Todd Dailey to develop site plan drawings for the conversion of the building. Dailey will charge an additional fee for extra copies of the plans.

The original motion was amended to include a review of the project with regard to city code in addition to state building code specifications.

Any time the use of a building is changed, said council member Keith Pennington, the property must be brought up to current specifications.

“Todd should do an overview of city code to check for other needs,” he said.

Mayor Doug Erskin pointed out to audience members that the engineering request will give council members cost estimates and then further evaluation of the project will be made.

Audience member Jan Sampson told council the process is backwards.

“All the things we’re discussing now should have been discussed and checked out before we had a motion,” she said. “We’re going it all backwards.”

City council voted 6-1 on June 8 to approve the police move, but the costs involved have not yet been determined.

Audience member Colleen Leddy asked if a recent letter to the editor had swayed the opinion of any council members about giving up potential manufacturing space.

Jason Cook said he’s not firm in his decision and wants to examine the costs before making a final decision.

Tracy Schell said she still stands behind  council’s decision. She said the use of a vacant building that the city already owns is “a terrific idea.”

“It’s only been empty eight months,” Leddy said. “The potential of the building is something to preserve.”

City clerk/administrator Renée Schroeder noted that there was also discussion about possibly adding on to the existing police station. She wondered if Dailey could also give an estimate for that, but Weeks said that would require a separate site plan with an additional cost.

  • Front.web
    NICE WORK—A spider remains at the center of a web, awaiting visitors, during a moist morning last month. The was built in front of Eagle Funeral Home in Morenci.
  • Front.bridge Cross
    STEP BY STEP—Wyatt Stevens of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge Sunday during the Michigan DNR’s Great Outdoors Jamboree at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The Tecumseh Boy Scout Troop constructed the bridge again this year after taking a break in 2016. The Jamboree offered a variety of activities for a wide range of age groups. Morenci’s Stair District Library set up activities again this year and had visits with dozens of kids. See the back page for additional photos.
  • Front.bridge.17
    LEADING THE WAY—The Morenci Area High School marching band led the way across the pedestrian bridge on Morenci’s south side for the annual Labor Day Bridge Walk. The Band Boosters shared profits from the sale of T-shirts with the walk’s sponsor, the Morenci Area Chamber of Commerce. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.eclipse
    LOOKING UP—More than 200 people showed up at Stair District Library Monday afternoon to view the big celestial event with free glasses provided by a grant from the Space Science Institute. The library offered craft activities from noon to 1 p.m., refreshments including Cosmic Cake from Zingerman’s Bakehouse and a live viewing of the eclipse from NASA on a large screen. As the sky darkened slightly, more and more people moved outside to the sidewalk to take a look at the shrinking sun. If you missed it, hang on for the next total eclipse in 2024 as the path comes even closer to this area.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.