Owners of former INKspiration property offer to donate it to city of McGregor

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By Audrey Posten, North Iowa Times Editor

At its Aug. 16 meeting, the McGregor Council considered an offer by Fred Petrie and Melanie San Fillippo to donate the former INKspiration Tattoo property, at 330 Main St., to the city.

The building on the lot, which is next to the McGregor Public Library, was destroyed—and then demolished—following the July 19 tornado.

If accepted, the property could be used however the city would like, said city administrator Lynette Sander.

“It could be a site for a community center, a library expansion or parking,” she noted.

“And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with, if the city got it and someone wanted to come in and put a business there, we could sell it,” added mayor Harold Brooks.

The council, too, expressed considerable interest in accepting the offer, but opted to wait until several details can be completed regarding the site and its clean-up.

Sander said she’s still waiting to hear from the DNR on whether there are any issues, such as asbestos, with the rubble left behind after the building was demolished. That would determine how the property is filled and readied for re-use.

The lot owners are working to obtain a fair market value to use for their own tax purposes. They also asked the city to pay for street and sidewalk repairs, as well as the cost of capping the water and sewer.

Tree board creation being considered

At the meeting, the council also discussed developing a city tree board. The idea has been thrown around in the past, but now seems more prudent following the tornado.

“With so many trees damaged­—street and park trees alike— we want to revisit it,” said Sander. 

“It’s a good time to think about where trees should be and which kinds should be there,” Brooks added.

Several residents have already been invited to serve on the board, if it’s created. An ordinance will be drafted and presented to the council at its next meeting.

If a board is created through a city tree ordinance, McGregor could apply for “Tree City” status. The city already has a tree budget, which is one of the requirements for a “Tree City.” Other requirements would include an Arbor Day proclamation and observance. 

Donation in memory of Roger Witter

Brooks presented a certificate from Three Rivers FS, noting their donation of 300 gallons of fuel to the city. The fuel was used to power the generators at St. Mary’s Catholic Church during the tornado clean-up. It was donated in memory of Roger Witter, who passed away as a result of injuries sustained in a tractor accident, while cleaning up tornado debris outside McGregor.

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