McGregor moves forward with riverfront plans


By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor


The McGregor City Council moved forward with the city’s riverfront improvements July 29, selecting Newt Marine Service, of Dubuque, at a cost of $84,037, to do the riverfront dredging and riprap work.


Mike Davy, of Davy Engineering, the company the city has worked with throughout the project’s development, was on hand at the special meeting to review the bids and map out the scope of work and estimated timetable for completion.


Davy said he was impressed with the two bids the city received for the work. Both bidders—Newt Marine and J.F. Brennan Co., of La Crosse—fell under the $120,000 cost estimate. Newt’s commitment to completing the work yet this year was also encouraging. Due to the prolonged high water, Davy said he was concerned about getting bidders, as many companies’ work has been pushed back.


With the permitting, and now the contractor, in place, Davy said Newt will have to provide a plan detailing the area that will be impacted by the work. Before work can begin, a mussel survey, which will cost $29,000, will have to be done in that area to determine if endangered Higgins eye mussels live there.


 “We will form a mitigation plan with the DNR about what to do [if mussels are found],” Davy said, explaining that the surveyors would map the spot where mussels are found, then return to move them. If a number of mussels are found, some things may have to be reevaluated. “That mussel survey will tell us a lot about what we can do with the project budget.”


Once the project begins, work will include clearing a hydrant intake, excavating a utility trench, patching riprap and dredging. The riprap work will stretch 150 lineal feet, but Davy suggested the city consider adding 250 feet if the mussel survey is clean.


“You’ve got a good price, so, if you want to go further, now’s the time to do it,” Davy told the council. “This project was set up so we could always add on if the budget allowed.”


Once the contractor is out working, Davy said some other things will also be done, including restacking and adding to the block wall at the boat ramp. Other updates will include replacing the gangway and repositioning the city dock.


Davy said the work is expected to be complete by the end of November.


Parking forum

The city of McGregor held a public parking forum at city hall Tuesday, Aug. 5, at 6:30 p.m., in an attempt to resolve overnight parking issues and re-look at the ordinance. 


“This ordinance is not working and we need to do something,” said City Administrator Lynette Sander at the July 29 special council meeting.


“This ordinance, in my mind, was never going to work,” added Mayor Harold Brooks, stressing that the public forum was not to be a time for people to offer complaints, but rather solutions. “We want people to come up with logical, workable ideas. Hopefully, we’ll get something out of this.”


For more about the public parking forum, check out next week’s North Iowa Times.

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