Costs determined for Marquette’s overlook and boardwalk projects


By Audrey Posten


The Marquette City Council held a special meeting Aug. 29 to discuss the projected costs for the city’s overlook and boardwalk projects. 


Project Manager Tim Cutsforth, an engineer with H.R. Green out of Cedar Rapids, also encouraged the council to make a decision regarding the overlook shelter and the railing so that he can submit the preliminary project plans to the Iowa Department of Transportation.


The projects are largely funded through a $332,800 grant from the federal Scenic Byways program of the Mississippi Parkway Commission. Another $300,000 will be provided through tax incremental financing (TIF) money. (TIF is a public funding method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure and other community-improvement projects. TIF uses future gains in taxes to subsidize current developments.) The city will fork over another $83,200, bringing the total to $716,000. Engineering will cost roughly $135,000, bringing the total current funding for construction to $580,941. 


After learning that its earlier choice for the overlook shelter was more expensive than anticipated, the council reevaluated its decision, choosing to go with a 12-column laminated wood structure, rather than a custom metal structure with rock columns. 


The structure itself will cost an estimated $20,000. However, the overlook’s major cost is not in the shelter, but in everything below it. The combined cost for the Trex decking, the foundation and the building and installation will cost $90,000, bringing the overlook grand total to $110,000.


While the council had favored the look of the metal shelter with rock columns, it decided affordability was more important than appearance. 


“The wow of the shelter is not what it looks like,” said City Manager Dean Hilgerson. “It’s where it is and what you can see from it.”


To continue reading, please check out the Sept. 4 issue of the North Iowa Times, or purchase on online subscription.

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