Passage of McGregor dock regulation ordinance hits snag

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

 

Passage of McGregor’s dock regulation ordinance hit a snag at the March 19 McGregor City Council meeting, as councilman Joe Collins voted to table the ordinance until the next meeting. Council members Charlie Carroll and Janet Hallberg agreed, while Joe Muehlbauer voted no. Councilwoman Rogeta Halvorson was absent.

 

At the meeting, representatives from McGregor Marina—Faye Sporleder and Jeremy Hunt—raised concerns over some of the ordinance regulations, specifically regarding the decking and the slope/tipping ability of the docks.

 

Hunt said the docks will never be perfect, especially when they’re on a river. He questioned whether some of the ordinance language came from lake regulations.

 

“I’ve always tried to keep that place clean,” he said of the marina. “I’ll do what I can do, but we’re on a big river with current and trees and ice in the winter, so there’s only so much you can do. You can’t expect it to be lake perfect.”

 

McGregor Marina also wondered if the ordinance was solely targeting them.

 

“This is not just affecting you, but anything in the city limits,” Muehlbauer explained. “We’re doing this as a way to police and we need teeth to regulate.”

 

Muehlbauer said the marina is usually good about fixing things when asked, but that the ordinance will give the city, and thus the dock commission, more legal backing to make sure the repairs are completed.

 

“It’s not meant to create hardship,” City Administrator Lynette Sander added. “It’s meant to put guidelines in place—something for the dock commission to go on and you to go on.”

 

Collins said he was still concerned with the wording of the ordinance, explaining that something needed to be included about having the docks repaired before the boats were allowed into the slips.

 

Muehlbauer feared that continuing to table the ordinance would defeat its purpose.

 

“If you keep tabling it, we’re going to have the river open,” he said. “We want it in effect ahead of the river opening. Now it’s starting to fall apart. Everyone had their chance to comment.”

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