Updates provided on several McGregor nuisance properties

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By Audrey Posten, Times-Register

 

The McGregor Council, at its June 15 meeting, received updates on several of the city’s nuisance properties.

 

Chief among them is health and safety concerns related to the Knapp Trailer Park, located along Buell Avenue behind the MFL MarMac Middle School. There are currently vacant mobile homes at the site and the sanitary sewer infrastructure is in disrepair, according to mayor Lyle Troester.

 

“When one guy lived there, the sewage actually dumped out onto the ground, and the others had issues with health in their trailers because the sewage kept backing up,” Troester explained. “All those who owned their trailers, with the exception of one, tore them down and moved their trailers.”

 

In addition to the one owned by a resident, two additional trailers belong to lot owner Amy Knapp, said Troester. He added that city attorney Mike Schuster continues to address the situation, and that Knapp has been served.

 

“There’s been no response. The owner of the lot lives in Dubuque and is very uncooperative,” he said.

 

Two other items discussed at the meeting were the Conex shipping containers in a private lot at the corner of Main and Fourth streets, as well as a property on Walton Street, at the edge of the city.

 

The Conex containers hold equipment and belong to McGregor Hook and Ladder Co. No. 1. They were previously housed in the public First Street parking lot, but had to be moved in anticipation of McGregor’s Main Street reconstruction project, which has since been postponed to next spring.

 

“They’re right on Main Street, and it’s just not good,” said Troester. “And there really isn’t anything in there they are using.”

 

McGregor officials said the fire department is currently trying to sell container contents, and that the city of Marquette has agreed to store some of the containers on its roundhouse property for one year. A more permanent solution will have to be found from there.

 

Lastly, the Walton Street property, better known as the Ringling House, was destroyed in a fire last year. The structure has not been addressed since, and people continue to live on the property.

 

“I emailed the county and asked them, if we decide to do anything, will they be on board too, since the property is half in the county and half in the city. I haven’t heard back,” said McGregor City Administrator Lynette McManus.

 

The site was the boyhood home of the Ringling Brothers of circus fame, and McManus said someone involved with the Ringlings in Baraboo, Wis., may be interested in purchasing the property.

 

Opening for economic development position

The council approved a job description for and posting of the city’s deputy clerk/economic development lead position. Duane Boelman, who currently holds the job, plans to retire this fall.

 

McManus said the position will start at 30 hours per week, then transition to full time (35 to 40 hours) as administrative duties associated with the deputy clerk position are added.

 

The economic development lead/deputy clerk will consult with the mayor, city administrator and economic development committee to formulate revitalization strategies for McGregor’s business and residential community, which will go to the city council for consideration. Deputy clerk duties may include general accounting, payroll, invoicing, document management, permits and licensing.

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