Morrison to hold special meeting Thursday on Main Street plan

MORRISON – The City Council is holding a special meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday to go over options for redoing parts of Main Street.

The project, initially slated for summer 2020, was pushed back to this summer when the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Using Community Development Block Grant dollars, streets will be refurbished, sidewalks between Clinton and Orange streets will be made ADA compliant, and a water main will be replaced.

The city could seek bids soon, but the council first must decide whether to use blacktop or concrete. Concrete costs more, but has a longer lifespan.

The meeting will be held in the Community Room at Odell Public Library.

The council also voted Monday to seek an engineer’s estimate for a proposed public works building.

The project, which started as a plan to refurbish a building at Grove Hill Cemetery, eventually morphed into talk of building a new building, either at the cemetery or the sewer plant, or using a building on Norrish Road the city bought from the township. No details have been finalized despite months of discussions.

Members also voted to refer a proposal to continue a nonconforming-use permit and subdivide the site of the former Wilson’s Greenhouse and Florist at 103 N. Heaton St. to the planning commission.

A new business is interested in buying the property, so the city did some research and and found that it is zoned residential, but the greenhouse operated under a nonconforming-use permit. Those permits expire if a property sits vacant for more than 9 months, and Wilson’s closed in November 2019, so it was thought that the permit was no good, but because Wilson’s held special sales there last summer, the permit still is valid.

The prospective buyers own Aubrey’s Candles & Crafts in Morrison and are planning a new shop, Everything Prim and More, offering home decor and candles. They also hope to build a home on part of the site, which would require splitting the current lot into separate commercial and residential properties.