McGregor riverfront shelter to be named for Donald Strutt


By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor


At its July 16 meeting, the McGregor City Council approved the park board’s suggestion to name the city’s riverfront shelter in honor of Dr. Donald Strutt.


The city’s other longtime doctors (Smith and Pfeiffer) have been honored, so it only seemed natural to include Strutt, explained Maria Brummel, head of the park board.


“He’s done a lot for the community,” said Brummel, referencing Strutt’s 58 years with his chiropractic practice, as well as 15 years running the North Iowa Times, from 1958 to 1973. He also served as McGregor’s mayor.


“It’s a good idea,” said mayor Harold Brooks, “the start of a tradition.”


Brummel also added that the dedication of the shelter is not to be confused with the patio and barbecue kitchen connected to the shelter. Those, she explained, have already been dedicated and named in honor of Punk Thornton.


Turner Park trail

Brummel said the Turner Park committee, which is involved with forming improvement plans for the park, has submitted a pre-application to the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation to fund the proposed walking and biking trail around the park.


She said the committee asked for $27,000 and will match 25 percent of that, or $9,000. Of that, $7,000 is in insurance money the city received from last summer’s storm damage.


The trail, which will be one-fourth mile long and eight feet wide, was the community’s first choice for a park project, said Brummel, mentioning a survey the committee circulated throughout the city.


“There was overwhelming support for a walking track,” she said. “There are a lot of walkers in town. The school is also really excited, and they plan to use it for PE and conditioning.”


With its close proximity to Great River Care Center and Turner Pointe Assisted Living, she said it will also be a good option for the residents and their families.


Riverfront zoning changes

At the meeting, the council also considered a draft ordinance from the planning and zoning commission proposing some riverfront zoning changes. The change would designate areas currently zoned as C-1 as W-1 (waterfront commercial/recreation) or W-2 (waterfront mixed use).


Attorney Mike Schuster said the changes are an attempt to promote new and different uses on the riverfront, permitting things not currently allowed. An example, said Schuster, would be condominiums. However, height restrictions would still be in effect.


“[The planning and zoning commission] doesn’t want to see development hindering views of the river,” Schuster explained. “They were very concerned about that.”


Shuster said development would likely be limited to tourist- or recreational-oriented. Like on Main Street, the ground level could be used for commercial use, with a residence above.


The ordinance will be on the council agenda for the Aug. 20 meeting, giving people the opportunity to discuss and think about the changes.

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