Eagle Scout project plans to spruce up Marquette park shelter

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

Walter Stavroplus, with Troop 32, hopes to spruce up the kitchen area of Marquette’s city park shelter through his Eagle Scout project. 

Stavroplus presented plans to the city council at its regular meeting Aug. 18. He said some ideas for the shelter include ceiling and wall work, cabinet and countertop updates, painting, a refurbished refrigerator and a cement pad at the shelter’s back entrance.

“It should enhance the shelter and the community,” Stavroplus said, noting that updates will work to bring the shelter up to code.

Groups like the Legion and Scouts, who operate out of the shelter during the flea markets, have faced decreasing menus and fundraising opportunities because of health code regulations.

Marquette Legion Commander Pam Brodie-Fitzgerald shared concerns about the shelter at the council’s July meeting, so Mayor Norma Mason said Stavroplus’ timing is perfect.

“Some issues were brought to our attention and Walter just fell out of the sky,” she said. “We’re all for it. I think it’s time to spruce it up and I think it’s a great project for an Eagle Scout.”

Brodie-Fitzgerald also attended last week’s meeting, mentioning that the Legion was considering updating the sinks because their small size makes it difficult to air dry larger amounts of dishes, per the health code. She and Mary Jo Pirc, with the Marquette Action Club, as well as councilman John Ries, planned to sit down with Stavroplus to discuss what projects may or may not work and what materials should be used.

Crosswalk to riverfront

At its July meeting, the council approved creating a crosswalk from the city park downtown to the Marquette Bar and Cafe. At this month’s meeting, city manager Dean Hilgerson suggested the city add another crosswalk in the area, from the southeast corner of the parking lot under the bridge, across Highway 76, to the riverfront.

Hilgerson said the Department of Transportation OK’d the idea and said it would even move the stop line for the railroad crossing to accommodate the crosswalk.

“Now folks can have a designated area to walk across to get to the riverfront,” he noted.

“So many people for the flea markets are running and dodging across when they park [under the bridge],” Mason added. “This would funnel them into one safe spot. Having two crosswalks will be really good.”

Chamber funding

Councilwoman Cindy Halvorson passed out some information about the McGregor-Marquette Chamber of Commerce and asked the council to consider funding the chamber again.

“I think, in the long run, it would be in the best interest of the city,” she said.

Since it was not on the agenda, the topic will be discussed again at a future meeting.

Hazard mitigation meeting

Hilgerson said the city will host a county hazard mitigation plan update meeting on Thursday, Sept. 17, at 6:30 p.m., at the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre. 

In the event of a disaster, FEMA requires the county to have a plan in order to receive funding, Hilgerson said. It’s now time to update the plan.

At the meeting, city personnel and public safety officials, as well as any members of the public, are welcome to share hazards they’re concerned about. Hilgerson said some changes may include concerns about train derailments and chemical spills.

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