Splash pad concepts and site plan to be developed

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Pump staying on McGregor's Main Street for time being

By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

At its May 15 meeting, the McGregor Council approved an engineering contract with MSA Professional Services to develop concepts and a site plan for the splash pad project at Turner Park, as well as a combination restroom/concession stand.

Senior project manager Jake Deaver said the splash pad will be located behind the ballpark. It will have a flow-through, and not a recirculating, system.

“We would coordinate with the city to get some quotes and concepts out of vendors,” for the splash pad features, he said. “With a flow-through type system, they will generally supply drawings to get it out to bid. And they will probably do the installation. They’re a bit more of a turn key-type package system.”

 Per the contract, which is not to exceed $24,600, MSA will also help the city meet public bid requirements and determine how to get water and sewer to the site.

“We’d have a general contractor do some of the site stuff,” Deaver said. “He would subcontract with the vendor we selected to get the system we wanted put up.”

The city has budgeted $175,000 for the splash pad project. Over $31,000 has been raised so far, and the Turner Park: Fitness for All Ages Committee has several fundraisers planned this summer. They’ve also applied for a grant through the Upper Mississippi Gaming Corporation.

“That should cover it for a flow-through type system,” Deaver said. “If you have recirculation, you can just about double what your costs are.”

These costs do not include the potential restroom/concession stand building, which Deaver estimated would cost as much, if not more, than the splash pad. 

“It depends on how nice you want it to look,” he noted, as well as the materials used to construct it.

Councilwoman Janet Hallberg, who’s head of the Turner Park Committee, said the group is just focusing on the splash pad first.

“It’s crazy it’s moving along this fast,” she said. “Everyone is really excited. They want it this summer.”

Main Street pump staying in place for now

McGregor Street Supervisor Ren Pape said the two pumps located on Main Street and next to Triangle Park will have to remain in place for the time being.

He had hoped they could be removed as the Mississippi River dropped, but found that, within hours, the flow rate becomes too much for the sewer plant to handle. The main culprit is not the river, but the ground water.

“Our sewer system is like a field tile,” explained mayor Lyle Troester. “There’s cracks in it, and the ground water is getting in” and causing flooding in some property owners’ basements.

Pape said the ground water level must lessen in order for the pumps to be removed and for someone to scope the lines and fix the problem areas.

Troester has reached out to government officials for help with the problem and to seek funding for infrastructure repairs and improvements.

“It’s become an emergency,” he said.

It could become even more difficult when grain trucks begin hauling to Bunge. Council members said the trucks may have to enter McGregor from the Marquette way, since the Main Street pump is sitting just before B Street, where the vehicles turn to head to the elevator.

There’s also the city’s tourism season to consider.

“We don’t want the pumps out there. It’s a historic town and we want tourism,” Pape said, “but we also don’t want to flood people’s basements.”

“There’s nothing we can really do,” Troester stated.

Resolution OKs ATVs/UTVs

The council approved a resolution authorizing the use of ATVs and UTVs on city streets. Operation will be allowed between one-half hour after sunrise and midnight, and drivers must be at least 18 years old. Vehicles must obey posted speed limits and have functioning lights. Operation must be in compliance with the Iowa Code and Iowa DNR regulations.

The resolution does not set an official route drivers can travel in the community. Councilman Charlie Carroll said signage designating a route may be helpful.

“A lot of people don’t understand they can’t go down Main Street. It’s a state highway,” he said.

“Until we get signs up, people are going to be driving down it,” agreed councilman Jason Echard. “There’s going to be a lot of confusion.”

Councilman Joe Muehlbauer said all it will take is one warning for word to get out, since riders often travel in groups.

Attorney Mike Schuster said, after seeing how it goes and hearing a status report from the police, the city can always designate a route or create more restrictions.

“If you need to limit it in the future, you can make a resolution,” he said. “You can finesse it a little bit.”

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