Collins resigns from McGregor Council

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Cannon/Freedom Park in McGregor will be home to a veterans memorial, which will be created as part of Hunter Jensen’s Eagle Scout project.

Scout plans veterans memorial


By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The McGregor Council confirmed the resignation of councilman Joe Collins at its Sept. 16 meeting. 

The resignation is effective immediately, as Collins said he plans to move out of the area. Two years remain on Collins’ term, with the seat up for election in Nov. 2017.

“You have two options,” attorney Mike Schuster advised the council. “You can make an appointment or you can call a special election.”

Most cities choose to make an appointment, he said, to avoid incurring the costs of a special election. An appointment would have to be made within the next 60 days.

Schuster said some may wonder why, with a council election coming up this November, the seat cannot be filled that way.

“There’s a timeframe in election laws where the auditor has to publish and have papers submitted,” Schuster explained. “That has already come and gone.”

If the council chooses to make an appointment, Schuster said the electorate, if unhappy with the choice, could circulate a petition for a special election. The petition would have to be signed by 15 percent of the number of people who voted in the last city election, he added.

Not wanting to bear the cost of a special election, the council agreed to appoint someone at its next meeting, Oct. 21.

Councilman Charlie Carroll said he did not feel comfortable with appointing someone that soon, and preferred to wait until seeing the results of the November election. However, the rest of the council did not agree.

“Let’s appoint someone on our own and let the election fall where it may,” stated councilwoman Rogeta Halvorson.

“The appointment is in the hands of the council,” noted mayor Harold Brooks, “so put your heads together, listen, think, and talk it over so that, by the next meeting, we can appoint someone.”

After the discussion, Brooks also thanked Collins for his service and wished him well.

Veterans memorial 

Boy Scout Hunter Jensen also attended the meeting, presenting plans to the council regarding construction of a veterans memorial in McGregor’s Cannon/Freedom Park for his Eagle Scout project.

For the memorial, a pentagon-shaped concrete slab will be created, Jensen said. At the entrance, facing the street, he will develop an all veterans memorial stone with the help of Kregel Monument Co., in Guttenberg. He said the base and stone will both be granite, with the stone four feet wide, five feet tall and six inches thick. He’s working with the McGregor Legion and AmVets to design it.

Throughout the rest of the slab, Jensen said stones representing the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard and Merchant Marines can be placed. Local veteran Cheri Leachman has already expressed interest in erecting an Air Force stone, Jensen said. He hopes veterans from the other branches will be able to raise funds for their stones, too, so the project can all be completed at once.

The council estimated the project will likely be completed quickly.

“They’ve wanted this for a long time,” noted city administrator Lynette Sander of the local veterans.

Street projects

Minus a set of steps and some other minor adjustments, McGregor Street Supervisor Brian Hamann said work on C Street for the sewer rehab project is complete, with the road open to traffic.

“The project looks good,” he added.

Over the next month, the city and residents will monitor the street to see how the parking situation is, since some parts of the street are narrow.

Hamann said work on Prospect and Cross Streets is also nearly complete. 

By the first week of October, weather permitting, he hopes every street in McGregor will be hard surfaced.

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