Park District ready to rebrand Women's City Club, Arts Center grounds

Posted: May. 14, 2014 11:27 pm Updated: May. 29, 2014 12:14 am
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

The Quincy Park Board took the first step Wednesday in rebranding one of its properties.

Commissioners approved a recommendation by Park District staff to give the name of Lorenzo Bull Park to a four-acre property at the corner of 16th and Maine. After a two-month public comment period, commissioners will vote on the motion in July.

The historic Lorenzo Bull House, which dates to the 1850s, sits on the property. It is the long-time home of the Women’s City Club., which has approximately 150 members and has used the house as its headquarters for decades. People commonly refer to the grounds as the Women’s City Club.

“The idea is to clearly demonstrate to the citizens that this is public property,” board president John Frankenhoff said.

But with the Quincy Art Center also on the grounds, Park District Executive Director Ed Seger said it was awkward to continue using the club’s name in reference to the location.

“(Renaming it) makes it more universal,” Seger said. “You can say that you’re going to the Quincy Art Center at Lorenzo Bull Park or that you’re going to the Women’s City Club meeting at Lorenzo Bull Park.”

The Park District is repairing the porch at the Lorenzo Bull House. The project’s cost is a little more than $140,000.

Commissioners also set a fee structure for use of the house. The base rental fee will be $150, with renters also charged $30 an hour to use the facility. Part of the hourly fee will pay for a Park District employee to be on site while the facility is used.

Commissioners also discussed what is next in the expansion of the Bill Klingner Trail. Park District officials learned last month that the district had been approved for nearly $1 million in funding from the Illinois Transportation Enhancement Program that will double the size of the trail on the city’s north side.

Seger said he has yet to hear from anyone from the state about the project.

Commissioners said they plan to pay back an estimated $1.31 million in bonds for the project over a three-year period.

“We wouldn’t want to bond until we actually have bids in and know exactly the amount that we’re going to need,” Don Hilgenbrinck, director of business services, said.

Hilgenbrinck said that the Park District should get an interest rate of around 3.25 percent on the bonds. Should the district bond $1.31 million at a 3.25 percent rate, the owner of a $100,000 home would pay an extra $23.32 in property taxes over the three-year life of the bonds.

“It was great news that we got the ITEP money, but we will be borrowing well over $1 million,” Frankenhoff said. “Homeowners are going to see a property tax bump for three years that is directly attributed to the Klingner Trail.”

Commissioners also:

• Voted to retain John Frankenhoff as president, while Jeff VanCamp stayed on as vice president.

• Approved a bid of $62,858 by Schaefer-Meyer Seed-Sod Division I Inc, for work to renovate the No. 4 green at Westview Golf Course. Work on the project is scheduled to begin after Labor Day. The hole should reopen by June 1, 2015.

• Approved the expenditure of $11,900 to resurface two tennis courts at the Greeman Tennis Center at Reservoir Park.