Marquette approves bench evacuation route plans

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This image shows the location of the bench evacuation route, which will stretch from Walnut Street, on the Marquette bench, to Eagle Drive, in McGregor.

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

The Marquette Council approved the final plans and specifications for the bench evacuation route project at its Sept. 12 meeting.

The route will be 3,800 feet long, stretching from Walnut Street, on the Marquette bench, to Eagle Drive, in McGregor, explained Mark Doyle, from Delta 3 Engineering.

The total width of the route, Doyle added, will be 22 feet, 14 feet of which will be graveled.

The council selected that option at a previous meeting, noting that it was most cost effective, while also allowing for future development. 

“We can re-adjust it later if we need to,” said councilwoman Pam Brodie-Fitzgerald.

The engineer’s estimated cost for the project is $375,600.

The route entrances/exits will not be heavily barred. Doyle suggested stretching a plastic chain between two wooden posts.

Pedestrians will be allowed to utilize the route for recreational use throughout the year, but all-terrain vehicles will not be allowed, in order to keep the trail in good shape.

“We want to make it user friendly,” said mayor Larry Breuer, “since we’re spending this amount of money on it.”

Doyle anticipated putting the project out for bid in mid- to late-October. A contract could then be awarded at the council’s November meeting. With that timeline, work could possibly start later in the month, he said.

City staffing changes

The council  decided to eliminate the city manager position, in favor of a clerk and deputy clerk combination.

The move came about following the recent departure of city manager Denise Schneider, who accepted the same position with the city of Guttenberg.

Current deputy clerk Bonnie Basemann will be promoted to the full-time clerk position. The city will advertise for a part-time deputy clerk position.

“We feel, with revenues coming down at the boat, and the evacuation route being the last big project the city will do, that we don’t need a city manager who’s getting paid $75,000 per year,” said Brodie-Fitzgerald.

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