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Tue
05
Dec

Opposition strong at Walz Energy stormwater permit hearing


A standing room only crowd packed the public meeting room at the Clayton County Office Building in Elkader Nov. 29, as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) accepted public comments regarding the proposed individual stormwater permit for the Walz Energy facility currently under construction east of Monona. This photo shows construction at the site, which will be a 10,000-head cattle feedlot and biogas operation, in early November. (Photo by Larry Stone)

The Walz family and others associated with the facility attended the hearing. Debbie Walz was the only one to speak, but did not provide information about the project. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Tammy Thompson, whose family lives near the Walz Energy site, spoke at the Nov. 29 hearing, stating it was “apparent Walz Energy found many loopholes in the system to avoid public comment and potential delays in their construction process.”

Scott Cherne, president of the Clayton County Cattlemen, said he supports Walz Energy because of the positive economic impact on Clayton County. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Rowland Jones lives 2.5 to 3 miles north of the Walz Energy site and worried about the location's vulnerability to sinkholes. “An operation like this should have been put out in western Iowa or Kansas or Nebraska, some place in flat country where they didn’t know what a sinkhole was. It shouldn’t have been put around here," he stated. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

Winneshiek County resident Steve McCargar questioned the last time the DNR denied a NPDES permit. “How could our DNR allow this? Is the DNR the Department of Natural Resources or the Department of No Responsibility?” he wondered. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

A standing room only crowd packed the public meeting room at the Clayton County Office Building in Elkader Nov. 29, as the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR) accepted public comments regarding the proposed individual stormwater permit for the Walz Energy facility currently under construction east of Monona.

Over 40 individuals shared their thoughts on the 10,000-head cattle feedlot and biogas operation, with a majority opposing issuance of the permit.

The hearing marked the first public meeting related to the project.

—————

Tue
05
Dec

Annexation of property for Dollar General Store moving forward

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At its Dec. 4 meeting, the Monona Council approved a resolution for the voluntary annexation of 3.7 acres of land at the intersection of 125th Street and U.S. Highway 18/52. 

The property includes two parcels, one of which the Overland Group plans to purchase for construction of a Dollar General Store. The other is a residential property.

City administrator Dan Canton said a notice has been published indicating the city’s intent to voluntarily annex the site. The county has also been notified. Now, he said, the Iowa Secretary of State’s office will be notified. Once they give the go-ahead, the city of Monona will notify utilities, the DOT, DNR and other pertinent entities that the property is within city limits.

Tue
28
Nov

Festival of Trees kicks off holiday season Dec. 1-2


Check out dozens of beautifully-decorated trees at the Festival of Trees, held on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2, at the Backwoods Bar and Grill and Event Center in McGregor. (NIT file photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

From dozens of beautifully-decorates trees to festive music and food, the sights and sounds of the holiday season will be on full display at the Festival of Trees.

Sponsored by Clan McGregor for Community Enrichment, the McGregor Historical Museum and the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts, the annual event will be held on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2, at the Backwoods Bar and Grill and Event Center in McGregor.

Tue
28
Nov

Holiday Train visiting Marquette Dec. 7


The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will visit Marquette on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 4:15 p.m. Attendees are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item or monetary donation as admission. (NIT file photo)

The Canadian Pacific Holiday Train will bring its festive display of lights and live music to the area when it stops in Marquette, at the marina parking lot, on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 4:15 p.m. The visit is the train’s lone stop in Clayton County this year.

Now in its 19th year, the Holiday Train is decorated with hundreds of thousands of lights depicting holiday scenes on 14 rail cars, one of which turns into a stage for musical performances.

Entertainment will include country music star Terri Clark, rock and country singer Dallas Smith and country artist Kelly Prescott, who will all perform classic holiday tunes. Santa Claus will also make an appearance.

Tue
28
Nov

Plans moving along for McGregor trail


On Nov. 19, a group of volunteers walked and marked a proposed one-mile trail through the wooded area between Center Street and Cemetery Road, in McGregor. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Plans are now underway to create a trail in McGregor, beginning with a segment through the wooded area between Center Street and Cemetery Road.

The 27-acre area is owned by the city, and the idea of developing a trail there has grown in the past few years, said Duane Boelman, McGregor’s deputy clerk and economic development lead, who organized a meeting earlier this month to discuss the proposed trail.

The proposed route would be roughly a mile long, with some twists and turns, Boelman shared.

Tue
28
Nov

Grant will help make murals a reality


Four photo enlargements of historic McGregor buildings and scenes will grace the west side of Steve’s Silver Dollar. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

For years, the McGregor-Marquette Center for the Arts (MMCA) Board of Directors has entertained the idea of enriching downtown McGregor with artistic murals. A plan finally emerged in spring 2017, and a grant request was submitted to the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation (UMGC) for partial funding. In October, at UMGC’s annual awards banquet, the dream moved a step closer to reality, as MMCA representatives accepted a grant award of $6,450.

The mural project will tell a story from McGregor’s historic past, with 8-foot-by-16-foot aluminum frames holding four sepia-toned historic photo enlargements. The photos will be displayed on the west side of Steve’s Silver Dollar Saloon, a visible location for people both walking and driving down Main Street.

Tue
28
Nov

Anderson writes second volume of ‘Our Town McGregor’


McGregor resident and historian Lucy Anderson has written a second volume of “Our Town McGregor.” (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

In 2010, McGregor resident and historian Lucy Anderson published “Our Town McGregor,” a book filled with historical stories and information about McGregor and the surrounding communities.

However, living in an area so rich in history, Lucy realized there was much more to tell, and made plans to write a second volume.

“I started and had quite a bit of it done,” she shared. “Then, I started working, I got married and my health wasn’t well personally and with my family.”

She set the book aside, and, at one point, even considered throwing away her research. 

Tue
21
Nov

Marquette Council approves bench evacuation route bid

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Marquette’s bench evacuation route moved another step closer to fruition last week, as the city council awarded a contract to Bacon Concrete, of Postville, to complete the project at a cost of $218,815.

Engineer Mark Doyle, from Delta 3 Engineering, said there were eight bids for the project, ranging from Bacon’s low bid up to $510,000. The engineer’s estimated cost was $375,600.

Bacon Concrete is no stranger to the city of Marquette, having completed the Edgar Street project last year.

Tue
21
Nov

Students donate books to hurricane victims


Students in Shauna Lange’s fifth grade class at MFL MarMac recently donated books to hurricane-affected schools in Texas and Florida. (Submitted photo)

Amy Bunting’s fifth graders also took part in the donation effort, contributing several books from their book order. (Submitted photo)

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

In the aftermath of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, students in Shauna Lange’s fifth grade class at MFL MarMac were troubled by the destruction they saw in Texas and Florida. They wondered what they could do to help.

“We had a book order going in,” Lange said. “That’s when they came up with the idea of books.”

The class builds up credits from their book orders, which go toward purchasing books for the classroom. This time, however, the students wanted to use those credits to purchase books for hurricane-affected schools in Texas and Florida.

Tue
21
Nov

Event encourages people to support MarMac’s small businesses

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Residents and visitors alike are encouraged to support the small, local businesses in McGregor and Marquette as they shop for gifts this holiday season—beginning with Small Business Saturday, Nov. 25.

Twenty-six businesses, ranging from retail stores to bars and restaurants, will participate in a “Shop Small MarMac” event on Saturday, offering activities, refreshments and special shopping deals. The event will begin at 10 a.m. and run through 3 p.m., although many establishments will be open later.

The Small Business Saturday concept was first launched in 2010 by American Express, serving as an alternative to the major shopping days following Thanksgiving: Black Friday and Cyber Monday.

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