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Park Board questions riverfront agreement

QUINCY (Herald-Whig) — Questions remain on a proposed intergovernmental agreement between the Quincy Park District, Adams County and the city of Quincy to develop a riverfront master plan.

The Park Board on Wednesday prepared a list of questions it wanted answered, including the makeup of the board, how such improvements would be maintained and how the project could be funded.

“That way we can make an informed and better decision at our December meeting,” said Park Board President John Frankenhoff.

Under the plan, $400,000 — $250,000 from the county and $150,000 from the city — would be used to hire Klingner and Associates, SWT Designs and the Convergence Group to develop a master plan from an area roughly between Fourth Street and the river and Broadway to Edgewater Park.

The plan would include short and long-term projects that could transform the riverfront.

Commissioner Vicki Dempsey told the board that in a recent conversation she had with Maggie Strong, consultant for the Quincy Next Strategic Plan, she learned that a riverfront dock “was off the table,” which apparently caught several commissioners by surprise.

A dock was a major component of a plan for a public boat dock and promenade adjacent to Clat Adams Bicentennial Park that was explored last year. The first phase of that project was estimated to cost $6 million.

In his memo on the intergovernmental agreement, Chuck Bevelheimer, Quincy director of planning and development, said American Cruise Lines requested 14 dates to dock at Clat Adams this summer, but it was determined that the bay was too shallow for the vessels that hold between 150 and 180 passengers.

Reached after the meeting, Strong said the master plan would examine a larger scope of the riverfront that could be completed in phases, which could include a dock.

“By approaching it as a master plan, we’ll be able to get better information from the public and from all the organizations and partners, so that we can make sure that we’re putting together the best plan for the future of Quincy’s riverfront,” Strong said.

In other business, the commissioners approved various fee increases for Park District programs.

Introduced at October’s meeting, the fees are seen to offset an increased Illinois minimum wage, which will climb from $8.25 to $9.25 per hour on Jan. 1, 2020, to $10 per hour on July 1, 2020, and $15 by 2025.

Green fees at Westview Golf Course will climb $1 to $17 for nine holes and $23 for 18 holes. A $20 hike was approved for season passes and $5 increases for junior passes. There also were increases for punch cards, outing fees, and several specials and promotions.

Commissioner Bob Gough said he initially was concerned about raising green fees at Westview, especially as the city of Quincy is considering a 2% food and beverage tax next month.

“But in my discussions with the (Director of Golf David Morgan), he assures me that regardless of what action the city might take, Westview will keep its food and beverage fees flat for next year,” Gough said. “So while I’m not thrilled about increasing the green fees, we are also keeping cart fees flat as well.”

Indian Mounds Pool will see a 25-cent increase in admission charges — $5 for children 12 and younger, $5.50 for adults and teenagers and $5 for senior citizens and veterans. Season passes will increase $5, and birthday splashes will cost an additional $10.

Activities, including batting cages, miniature golf, and paddleboat, kayak and bicycle rentals at Moore Park will climb by 25 cents.

Field rental fees will climb $10, and Showmobile rentals will increase by $25.

The Park Board also approved a tax levy of $2.563 million for operations, which Don Hillgenbrinck, director of business services, said should generate the district about $42,000 more than last year.

Including bonding, the district is set to collect $4.079 million in property taxes.

Commissioners also approved the low bid of $89,463 from Brian Schutte Construction for the Ben Bumbry Riverview Park shelter replacement project.

By Matt Hopf 

Herald-Whig

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