Marquette eyes solutions for Pleasant Ridge Road flooding issues

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times

The city of Marquette hopes reworking the ditch and extending a culvert along Pleasant Ridge Road will help ease some of the flooding issues in the Twin Bluffs neighborhood during major rain events.

At the Oct. 8 council meeting, public works director Jason Sullivan detailed plans to install a 10-foot-by-48-foot old tanker car at the south end of the culvert near the Doll property to prevent erosion that’s compromising the road and sidewalk.

The tanker car, which the council agreed to purchase for $6,500 from Clayton County Recycling, will be the same size as the current culvert, said Sullivan. 

“But it will be smooth rather than corrugated,” he explained, “so stuff should flow through it better.”

Sullivan said that, paired with work by Vorwald Enterprises to remove sediment from the ditch along the road and also straighten the ditch, should allow for better water flow.

Eventually, the city would also like to create detention basins at the top of the hill, in an effort to slow storm water down before it reaches the area. Mayor Steve Weipert said private property owners whose land would be used have, so far, voiced support for that idea. The city, he added, can hopefully tap into some grant funding to pay for it.

According to Sullivan, tackling these issues can’t wait much longer. Not only is flooding threatening the integrity of the road and sidewalk, but it’s damaging yards and getting into homes.

“Mother Nature keeps throwing stuff at us, and we’ve got to fix it,” he said. “It’s getting to be an emergency deal.”

“We owe the people [who live there] a solution to the problem,” agreed Weipert. “You can only be flooded so many times.”

City shop will be solar powered

Just a month after the council opted to move forward with its second solar project, at the Driftless Area Wetlands Centre, it’s adding number three to the list. At last week’s meeting, members unanimously agreed to solar power the building that houses the city shop and Mar-Mac police station. 

The project will cost $30,680 and be completed by Eagle Point Solar, which completed the city’s first project at well number four in the Timber Ridge Subdivision and will also install the Wetlands Centre roof array. 

Since the city shop solar project will be a roof array too, the city plans to replace the building’s 30-year-old steel roof beforehand. The council tapped Max Basemann to complete that portion, at a cost of $12,200.

Weipert said the project should give the city an 11 percent return on investment.

Marquette gives $20,000 to splash pad project

In a show of support for the city of McGregor’s Iowa Great Places grant application seeking funds for the Turner Park splash pad, the city of Marquette has offered to donate $20,000 toward the project. The council unanimously approved the contribution.

“I think it’s good to donate. They’ve already raised quite a bit of money,” said councilman Ryan Young.

“We have quite a few kids coming back to Marquette [who would utilize it],” added Dave Schneider. “I think it would be a good investment.”

Weipert noted the $20,000 is a one-time donation. McGregor will receive the funds once construction is set to begin.

Boardwalk and overlook to be re-named

The city will soon be asking community members to help re-name Marquette’s boardwalk and overlook structures.

“It’s been brought to our attention that the boardwalk does not describe what we have,” Weipert explained.

It’s actually more of a pier, noted councilman John Ries.

City clerk Bonnie Basemann said she will likely create a Facebook poll and have paper copies at city hall asking for resident suggestions for official names.

Campground plans on hold

Weipert told the council the city’s plans to create a campground next to the Wetlands Centre are currently on hold, as the size of the campground would not be a good return on investment.

“People think [the area] could have other uses,” he said. “We’ll keep an open mind and see what we can come up with.”

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