Marquette reviews bench evacuation route options

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Mark Doyle, with Delta 3 Engineering, went before the Marquette Council at its May 16 regular meeting, providing several preliminary design options for an emergency evacuation route off the bench.

The route, which Doyle said will provide access to McGregor should bench residents need to evacuate due to a train derailment or other emergency, will be 3,800 feet in length, with bends and curves.

The first option, Doyle said, would be 22 feet wide, with double lanes, and cost an estimated $450,000. Option number two would be smaller width-wise, at 14 feet, and cost around $395,000. The third option would include grading for a 22-foot road, but only graveling 14 feet of it. That would cost an estimated $410,000, he said.

The route’s steepest grade, Doyle added, would be 17.5 percent.

“This is the shortest and least expensive option,” noted mayor Larry Breuer, who said the route is also less steep than he originally thought it would be. “We want to make it community friendly—not just an evacuation route, but a hiking and biking trail.”

The council will discuss the route options further at an upcoming meeting.

No wake buoys

After discussions with the dock commission and deputy John Bell, who helps patrol the Mississippi River for the Clayton County Sheriff’s Office, councilman Steve Eagle said the city will opt not to put no wake zone buoys out this year, instead putting signs at each end of the no wake zone.

“The signs are far less expensive,” he said, noting that the buoys are regularly damaged and lost each year due to river traffic and high water, and are costly to replace. Placing and pulling the signs at the start and end of the season also runs the city $2,000 to $3,000 each year, Eagle added.

“The consensus was to go with the two signs,” he said, “and I feel people who are boating will honor that.”

Eagle said the city is hoping to work with the casino on launching and pulling the signs.

Economic development program

The council approved updating a city economic development funding program, which, upon discretion of the council, would allow business owners to request a TIF rebate on property taxes, for up to 10 years, if they want to build/open a new business or expand a current business. 

North Street retaining wall

The council approved hiring Mitchell Construction to repair the North Street retaining wall, at a cost of $10,472.50. 

The wall was damaged over eight years ago, said Breuer, who’s been advocating for repairs to be made for the past year.

“Now, we can get it so it’s not a detriment to the community and a danger to children,” he said.

Councilwoman Pam Brodie-Fitzgerald, said she has some stipulations, however: “They’re going to do it right, and they’re going to make it look like other walls in town.”

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