'The dog poop must stop'

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Mayor asks people to keep McGregor clean, inviting


By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


McGregor Mayor Lyle Troester is asking people to help keep McGregor clean and inviting. Speaking at the Jan. 17 city council meeting, he listed dog waste, feral cats, snow removal and property maintenance among issues he’d like to see addressed in the coming year.


Dog waste was at the top of the list.


“Too many individuals are not picking up after their dogs have done their business. This is a basic responsibility of the owner and will not be tolerated,” Troester said. “Some owners are allowing their pet to poop on the sidewalk and fail to pick it up. This is an embarrassment to our town and must stop.”


It is particularly bad in Triangle Park, where people often sit and eat, he added.


Troester is considering declaring Triangle Park a “no dog park.” He also stressed the enforcement of fines for owners who do not pick up pet excrement.


“Our town is a tourist attraction, and it’s one of the most important parks in our town,” he said. “It’s a shame we have to do that.”


There have also been complaints of a large number of feral cats roaming McGregor. Troester said some cats appear to have health issues, and there is fear it could be transmitted to residents’ domestic cats. 


“There are some vacant homes/buildings that provide a sanctuary for these animals. These buildings will be on a nuisance list that must be remedied—most likely torn down,” Troester shared. 


He hopes the situation can be dealt with in a humane manner, utilizing neuter and spay programs.


In reference to the vacant buildings, Troester stated the focus on vacant properties and lots is an ongoing process. Per McGregor’s recent downtown assessment, he said empty and unused sites are hurting the whole community.


“If properties are for sale, what is the reason they are not selling? Is there some assistance that can be made available?” he wondered.


With the full completion of McGregor’s Main Street project set for this fall, Troester said it’s a good time to step up maintenance and beautification efforts.


“Some properties need attention,” he stated. “This is for the benefit of our town, our neighbors and all individuals.”


In light of recent snowfall, Troester also listed snow removal among the areas to address. Although McGregor’s recent snow emergency seems to have gone well, one hiccup was that some downtown properties were late in cleaning up sidewalks and curbs—often after the street was cleaned.


“Following a snow storm, if businesses and residents can clear the sidewalk and curb before the city crew clears the parking area, it certainly helps in the cleanup,” Troester said. “We operate with a limited crew and they really appreciate any cooperation and help shown to their cause.”


During a snow emergency, Troester acknowledged it is often hard to know when parking is again allowed on the street. The decision is easier, he said, if the downtown walk and curb are clear at the same time as the street.


“After the initial clearing, cars started parking on the street. The areas that did not clean their sidewalk and curbs earlier were then thrown into the street. This made it difficult or impossible for the city crew to clear the late thrown snow. This snow then turns to a slippery mess,” he explained.

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