McGregor council discusses road, infrastructure projects

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

McGregor residents can anticipate several road projects and infrastructure improvements in the next couple years.

One project, explained city administrator Lynette Sander at the city council’s Jan. 11 meeting, includes a bridge replacement on Fourth Street, near the fire station, as well as storm sewer improvements on A Street. A cost estimate for the Fourth Street bridge is $228,114, while the A Street part of the project, which includes several smaller components that may not need to be completed as one large project, is estimated at $100,000. Engineering for all of the work is $50,000.

The council discussed funding options for the improvements, and is favoring a $300,000 loan to cover both parts of the project.

Another project discussed at the meeting would involve work at the main lift station and on the pedestrian bridge over B Street. The city hopes to receive FEMA funding for the improvements since both structures sustained damages from heavy rains in September. Runoff eroded the soil beneath the pedestrian bridge, while the lift station had infiltration issues. 

Due to damages throughout the area, Clayton County received FEMA funding. FEMA will contact the city soon to review costs and determine if repairs are eligible and if mitigation can be used to prevent further problems. If approved, the city would have a 15 percent cost match.

Finally, the council discussed possible repairs to Ash Street in 2017. Work would stretch 2,440 feet, from Ann Street to Grumpster’s Log Cabins. 

“Right now, it’s not sloped the right way,” said street supervisor Pat Jones of Ash Street. As a result, sections of the road are in pretty poor shape.

Repairs would include curb work, the replacement of three culverts and grade adjustments to make water drain into the ditches. Sewer and water may also be extended.

City lots discounted

The council discussed the city owned lots at Ohmer Ridge and the Ridgewood West Second Subdivision, agreeing to discount outlot 1 from $35,000 to $21,000, with a reserved 20-foot easement for a trail. All other lots, the council said, will be discounted $2,000 off their current discount prices, which now makes the lots anywhere from $5,000 to $13,000. The decision was made in order to get sales moving on some of the lots.

Police budget approved

The council approved the Mar-Mac Police budget of $205,699.81. Both McGregor and Marquette are now splitting the cost 50/50, at $102,849 each.

Interest in economic development position

Sander said there were currently five applicants for the city’s new economic development position, with a sixth anticipated earlier this week. Interviews will likely be conducted later this month. 

Chamber gives update

Several McGregor groups presented reports and budgets at the meeting, including the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce.

Mark Groom, the chamber’s treasurer, introduced the new chamber director, Patti Ruff. He also expressed the chamber’s appreciation for the hotel/motel tax it receives from the city. That, paired with special event income, is a large part of the chamber’s funding, he said. 

Unfortunately, he added, “it’s difficult to judge that due to the hotel closure. It’s dropped at least 35 percent.”

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