Marquette Council discusses Wetlands Centre staffing changes

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Effective Nov. 30, the city of Marquette will terminate its full-time Wetlands Centre and tourism and economic development director position. 

Katrina Moyna, who has held the full-time post since earlier this year, has not worked since August due to illness. Speaking to the city council at its regular meeting Oct. 20, city manager Dean Hilgerson said there is no anticipated date for her return. Since the council was already due to re-evaluate the necessity of a full-time position in November, heading into the slower winter months, he said the city’s personnel committee felt it was best to terminate it.

In order to help with upcoming events at the Wetlands Centre, Hilgerson suggested posting for a part-time activity director position at the Wetlands Centre only.

Councilwoman Rinda Ferguson, who is also a member of the Wetlands Centre board, said, in addition, someone is needed to deal with communications at the facility, answering emails and keeping up with contacts.

“I think it would be a black eye for the city to just shut it down and not respond when there have been a lot of activities there the last eight months,” Hilgerson said. “If we post, what if we find the right person who’s a fit for the Wetlands Centre, for the nature part of it?”

The council agreed to post for the part-time job and will consider the issue further depending on the response.

Chamber update

At last month’s meeting, the council contemplated restoring funding to the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce, and asked councilmen Jason Winter and John Ries to talk with the chamber, to see if some of the city’s concerns could be addressed. 

Ries and Winter said they met with the chamber’s executive director, Carolyn Gallagher, as well as several board members, and that the discussion went well.

“They’re very receptive,” Winter said.

“There are some future events they’re looking at bringing this way,” Ries added.

“That would be nice,” said mayor Norma Mason, who noted that, aside from the Lazy River Beer and Wine Festival, Fourth of July, flea markets and Holiday Train, Marquette doesn’t have a large number of events. “That sounds like a start.”

Armed with details about the chamber budget, membership, website, events and more, Mason instructed the council to look over the information and return to the next meeting with ideas on how to proceed.


The council agreed to pay Taylor Construction $519,801.66 for boardwalk and overlook work despite concerns from council members that the boardwalk appears to be sagging on its east end. 

Hilgerson said the engineers, HR Green, and Taylor Construction are aware of the issue and expected the beams to move once the concrete was poured.

“It’s the way it’s designed, and they knew that going in,” Hilgerson explained. “It’s not unusual for structures to do this. It’s not going to structurally affect it.”

Once the boardwalk railings are installed, he said it should not be noticeable. 

The council approved payment but asked Hilgerson to obtain written documentation from HR Green giving an explanation.

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