Public input sought on pending park projects in Hannibal

Posted: Jan. 16, 2013 9:08 am Updated: Feb. 6, 2013 1:15 pm

Herald-Whig Staff Writer

HANNIBAL, Mo. -- Hannibal Parks and Recreation will host an open house at 6 p.m. Thursday in the City Council chambers to gather community input on proposed parks.

The Hannibal Park Board and Hannibal City Council have developed proposals for three new parks. The city already owned some of the land, but much of it was acquired in federally funded buyout from the flood of 2008.

The meeting will focus on the commercial sites at the corner East Gordon and Lemon Street off Warren Barrett Drive; Warren Barrett Drive and Ninth Street; and South Main and Adams Street. The city has completed environmental assessments and now seeks input regarding the preliminary designs.

"We want to be able to show this off to the public and get their opinion," Parks and Recreation Director Andy Dorian said.

Among the plans are a variety of football, baseball and soccer fields. Dorian said a regulation-sized baseball diamond was specifically requested. Plans also involve land for at least one community garden, which could be usable this spring.

The proposals also indicate space for passive recreation areas. These spaces may feature pathways and native flower gardens and will allow for quieter uses of the outdoor space.

Dorian said the proposals have been funded through a half-cent sales tax approved by voters. The department has budgeted $150,000 this year.

The properties lie in a floodplain, but much of the land sits high enough that Dorian says flooding won't be a problem. If the city doesn't use the land for recreational activities, it could be used for wetlands management, nature reserves, unpaved roads, unpaved parking lots and buffer zones.

"If it does flood, all we'll be out is possible some seed or some grass," Dorian said.