QUINCY -- Firms seeking to design a public boat dock presented concept plans to overhaul Quincy's riverfront for future generations.
Proposals included repurposing a portion of the Quincy Memorial Bridge for an overlook, adding an ice skating rink and designing ways to allow riverboats to dock and potentially bring more people to the city.
The four firms presented Wednesday to a committee composed of city, county, Park District, Oakley-Lindsay Center and the District officials.
Firms were asked in July to prepare the design of a riverfront pier, boardwalk and visitor dock on a 400-foot area of riverfront between Clat Adams Bicentennial Park and the Quincy water treatment plant for a cost of $4 million to $6 million to be split between the Park District, the city and the county.
Firms brought in for interviews were:
º BatesForum of St. Louis.
º Hitchcock Design Group of Chicago, which teamed up with Quincy firm Poepping, Stone, Bach and Associates.
º Klingner and Associates of Quincy, in collaboration with SWT Design of St. Louis and Convergence of Kansas City, Mo.
º MSA Professional Service of Madison, Wis., along with Meco Engineering of Hannibal, Mo.
Matt Welti, of Development Strategies, which is partnered with BatesForum, said the riverfront is a front door to the city, and that public development could be a catlyst for more private development. His firm was hired to develop the city's strategic plan, adopted this year.
"How do we get people to the river and get them up to all the downtown amenities you have?" Welti asked in discussing access.
Mike Klingner of Klingner and Associates said a plan must be developed that is right for the community.
"We have to do it over time in phases as we have funds available," Klingner said. "We have to work with you and the community to develop a plan that's right for Quincy."
Lance Thies of Hitchcock Design Group said leaving a portion of the Memorial Bridge after a new bridge is built as an overlook will provide a view unavailable elsewhere.
"Every selfie in the community will be taken on that space, and it will be so cool." Thies said.
Quincy Park Board President Bob Gough said the committee will meet again shortly to winnow down the firms to two or one.
"I think we saw some great concepts, and that's really what we wanted to see," Gough said. "There are people who have worked on this previously, who came back with some new and fresh ideas, and that was very encouraging."
Before a firm is selected, he said the city of Quincy and Adams County will need to determine if and what they will pledge for the project.
With the Park District's non-referendum bonding cap of $3.2 million, it would have to seek approval from voters, as bonding is earmarked for its annual capital projects bond, future expansion of the Bill Klingner Trail and from the acquisition and renovation of the district's administrative office.
Gough said the Park District could seek a referendum as early as April 2019.
"I think if we want to take a bite of the apple and see where we are, we can do that in the spring, and hopefully we'll get buy-in from the public," he said.
Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said funding at the city level is being explored, and he hopes to present the concepts to the City Council soon.