North Iowa Times

Thu
31
Oct

Carol Young

 

Carol J. Young, 82, died Sunday, Oct. 27, at her home at Opportunity Village, in Clear Lake, Iowa. 

Carol Jean Young was born Jan. 5, 1931, in McGregor, the daughter of Mark C. and Floy Melvin Young. She lived in Marquette, until the time of her father’s death. She then lived with her sister and brother-in-law Winifred and Cletus Friedman in Moline, Ill. In 1971 she became one of the first residents of Opportunity Village. It has been her loving home for forty-two years. She enjoyed shopping, going out to eat and had a great love for family, friends, dogs and cappuccino’s. 

Tue
29
Oct

Tae kwon do teaches principal lessons outside school


MFL MarMac Middle and High School Principal Josh Mallicoat and his son, Ty, work out at Pikes Peak, Colo., this summer at an elevation of 14,100 feet. (Submitted photo)

Ty Mallicoat does a flying side kick in the dojang, or hall, in Garnavillo. (Submitted photo)

 

By Audrey Posten

 

Tue
29
Oct

Marquette Council, businesses discuss litigation, zoning changes


118 and 120 North St.

 

By Audrey Posten

 

The Marquette City Council, business owners and residents gathered at a special meeting on Oct. 24 to discuss the Marquette Board of Adjustment’s (BOA) decision to grant a variance to the Luana Savings Bank for 118 and 120 North St. The variance would allow the property to be sold as residential rather than commercial, going against the city code. Following the Oct. 15 regular city council meeting, the council had requested help from the business owners in deciding if the city should pursue litigation against the BOA over its decision.

 

Opening the meeting, Mayor Norma Mason cited a section from the city’s zoning regulations that said, “When a nonconforming use of a structure, or structure and premises in combination, is discontinued for 12 consecutive months or for 18 months during any two-year period, the structure thereafter shall not be used except in conformance with the regulations of the district in which it is located.” 118 and 120 North St. are located next to the post office in the downtown district, which is zoned for commercial use.

 

“This is what brought the whole thing to a head,” Mason said to the audience. “Now we have to make a decision on this district and we need your input.”

 

Attorney Jim Garrett said if the city chose to file a petition in district court asking the court to review and reverse the BOA decision, the odds would be in favor of the city, as the city code prohibits the BOA from granting a variance that permits a use the city does not permit. 

 

“Even if the odds were not in your favor, at least you’d have an answer as to whether this is something the BOA can do,” he said. “Then you could adjust the ordinance accordingly.”

 

Cindy Halvorson, of Eagles Landing Winery, began the audience discussion by asking the council members what tourists had said to them about Marquette. 

 

“They ask, ‘Where are all the businesses?’” said councilman Tracy Melver.

 

“That’s not what I’ve heard,” Halvorson responded. “They said this is a charming little river town where homes and businesses are intermingled. I know you’re trying to make it grow, so if they want it to be residential, then let it be. By making it all commercial, there won’t be homes and businesses side by side.” 

 

Councilman Jason Winter said that, while he also appreciated Marquette’s status as a cottage community, its unique set-up is what makes the decision so difficult.

 

“Marquette’s never going to have the storefronts like McGregor,” he said, “but can we make it to allow anything and everything because it’s unique? I see one side and I see the other. It’s just a mess we have to get straightened out.”

Tue
29
Oct

Depot Museum had nearly 4,000 visitors this year


Marquette Depot Museum and Information Center visitors

 

By Audrey Posten

 

Marquette’s Depot Museum and Information Center had 3,997 visitors this year, from May 1 through Oct. 28, an increase of over 600 visitors from last year. Compared to last year’s numbers, attendance increased each month except in June, which saw high river levels and poor weather. 

Tue
29
Oct

Marquette welcomes Casey’s General Store


No, you didn’t imagine it as you drove by or through Marquette. The Go America convenience store and gas station is now a Casey’s General Store. Headquartered in Ankeny, the convenience store chain has 1,700 stores throughout the Midwest and Great Plains, with over 400 locations in Iowa. (Photo by Audrey Posten)
Tue
29
Oct

Eagles soar to 56-0 victory in Bulldogs’ final game of the season

 

By Michael Newton

 

The MFL MarMac Bulldogs traveled to Guttenberg to play the Clayton Ridge Eagles on Friday, Oct. 25 in their final game of the season. The Bulldog offense failed to click throughout the game, as the team turned the ball over six times, including once in the end zone when Matt Hansel jumped on the fumble for an Eagle touchdown. 

Tue
29
Oct

Cross country season ends

 

By Michael Newton

 

Tue
22
Oct

Marquette City Council considers litigation against board of adjustment


The Marquette Board of Adjustment granted a one-year variance to the Luana Savings Bank for 118 and 120 North St. (located next to the post office) at its Oct. 4 meeting. This would allow the property to be sold as residential, rather than commercial, which goes against the city code. The city council is still considering whether it will file a petition in District Court asking the court to review and reverse the board’s decision. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

 

At the city of Marquette’s regular monthly meeting on Oct. 15, attorney Jim Garrett outlined the city’s options after the Marquette Board of Adjustment (BOA) granted a one-year variance to the Luana Savings Bank for 118 and 120 North St. at its Oct. 4 meeting. This would allow the property to be sold as residential, rather than commercial, which goes against the city code.

 

“I know there is some concern as to whether this was the right decision,” Garrett said to the council. 

 

However, Garrett said, the city’s options for recourse are limited. City councils are not authorized to overturn a decision made by a zoning board of adjustment. It is the only city board or commission for which this is the case. Although the state code says a council may ask the board to reconsider, Garrett said Marquette’s city code does not contain that reconsideration language, so the BOA will likely not be required to do so.

 

In that case, Garrett said the city’s only available option is to file a petition in district court asking the court to review and reverse the  BOA decision. This would be a full-blown lawsuit in which either an individual or the council as a whole would sue the BOA. Garrett said the city should consider the legal expenses that would incur, including the possibility that the city would have to provide legal representation for the BOA.

Tue
22
Oct

City of McGregor hopes to get more on board with MMU

 

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

 

The McGregor City Council agreed to split the cost of new water meters with the McGregor Municipal Utilities (MMU) at the Oct. 16 regular city council meeting. The council first considered the proposal at last month’s meeting, but wanted more information before making a decision. MMU said purchasing new meters will cost between $9,500 and $15,000 each year for the next five to 10 years, so each entity will pay anywhere from $4,750 to $7,500 annually.

 

The water meter change out is necessary because, as of Jan. 1, 2014, there will be a change to the water supply rules that says any water meters installed or changed out can no longer use brass containing lead. Water meter suppliers will also be converting from remote read water meters that use an outside read to either “touch” or “automatic read” meters.

 

Mayor Gay Hallberg called the change out a “great start” and councilwoman Rogeta Halvorson said it should help cut the cost of personnel and provide more accurate readings.

Tue
22
Oct

Area businesses compete in regional Dream Big, Grow Here competition


Katie Ruff of By the Spoonful would like to renovate her building’s basement into a certified commercial kitchen in order to expand her catering services and offer cooking classes and pre-made, take-and-bake meal options. (NIT file photo)

Mona Parisi of Park 5 would like to update and install the building’s electrical wiring to beer coolers, make roof repairs, better insulate the building and get an energy efficient heat source. (NIT file photo)

 

By the Spoonful and Park 5, both located in McGregor, are two of the 13 businesses competing in the Northeast Iowa region of the Dream Big, Grow Here competition. 

 

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