City of McGregor, MMU vow to have better communication

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The McGregor Council and members of the McGregor Municipal Utilities (MMU) board agreed to move forward with better communication between one another Feb. 18, following misunderstandings between the two regarding the movement of utility poles for the upcoming sewer rehab project and proposed work along C Street.

Several poles are in the street right-of-way and need to be moved. MMU was aware of some, but not all, until its January meeting.

Board member Craig Strutt said MMU will move the poles at a cost of $4,000 to $6,000, but said the board would have appreciated more notice in order to form an action plan and get funding together for the project.

“MMU is a contractor to the city with its own budget and management,” he explained of the entity, which was formed in 1942. “The board’s purpose is to help the town get reliable water and power, spend money wisely and provide for the future. The utility does what is best to maintain water and power. It’s critical the board knows what the city’s thinking in order to do things in the safest, most efficient way. We want the relationship to be good, we just have to officially keep each other in the loop better.”

The city agreed and said it was unaware improvement plans were not fully communicated.

Engineer Jim Maloney, with Davy Engineering, who was also on-hand at the meeting, said he realized there will be some pain on the road to improvements.

“There’s never been a project of this scope with sewer and water going in. Now is the time to get that established for the next 100 years,” he said, noting that improvements will include widening C Street at some points. “We’re looking to optimize the right-of-way and improve the street so cars can pass, making things as safe as we can for those who live there and for cars and people walking. We try to avoid possible conflicts, but there are certain times we have to adjust to get the job done.”

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