Local Government

Park Board approves riverfront master plan agreement

By Herald-Whig
Posted: Dec. 12, 2019 12:01 am

QUINCY -- The Quincy Park District is signing onto an intergovernmental agreement to develop a riverfront master plan, but some commissioners are leery at any plan that includes a boat dock.

The Quincy Park Board approved the agreement Wednesday with a 5-2 vote with President John Frankenhoff and Commissioner Nathan Koetters dissenting.

Frankenhoff said he believed that earlier discussions that focused on a boat dock that would allow for riverboat cruises to dock at Clat Adams Bicentennial Park was a first step.

"I've been fearful that this plan is just going to move that boat dock idea to the next level," he said.

The master plan, which would be developed by Klingner and Associates, SWT Designs and the Convergence Group, would cover an area roughly between Fourth Street and the river and Broadway to Edgewater Park focusing on short and long-term projects to transform the riverfront.

The Quincy Park District was the last of the three local governments to approve the intergovernmental agreement.

The Quincy City Council narrowly approved the agreement Monday, and the Adams County Board approved it Tuesday.

The agreement doesn't call for the Quincy Park District to contribute money up front as the county is providing $250,000 in funding and the city chipping in $150,000.

He suggested that the three commissioners that are appointed to the committee should voice opposition to a boat dock if the majority of the Park Board is opposed to it.

"My thought is to do that on the head end as the discussion starts, so the committee, Klingner and so forth doesn't go down a path that we ultimately knew we were not interested in," Frankenhoff said.

Chuck Bevelheimer, director of planning and development for the city of Quincy, believed that was premature.

"If you're asking the committee to guide the public engagement process for a riverfront master plan, are you now suggesting that you're going to tell the committee that there's restrictions on what they can and cannot look at?" Bevelheimer asked,

Commissioner John Steinkamp said the committee needed an "open slate."

"I'm interested to see what are the true facts about the boats, what can happen, what can't happen," he said.

Any project proposed by the committee that would involve park land or require Park District money would require a vote of the Park Board.

"Yeah, the committee is going to go in and do research on whether its a boat dock, a marina, an amphitheater, a whatever," Commissioner Bob Gough said. "They need to be able to explore and look at the possibilities, and that is what this about."

In other business, the Park Board approved the district's operating budget of $10.468 million or about $594,000 higher than last year.

Director of Business Services Don Hilgenbrinck said the budget includes several capital expenditures such as trail construction that were included in last year's budget but not paid this year.

The budget also covers upcoming increases in the minimum wage.

The low bid of $30,104 from Brumbaugh Tree Service was also approved for the second phase of ash tree removal at Westview Golf Course. Brumbaugh would remove 60 of the remaining 110 ash trees at the course in response to the emerald ash borer. The remaining trees would be slated for removal in 2021.

The district has received a $15,000 grant through the Morton Arboretum to replace 35 ash trees that were felled this year.

Commissioners also updated its personnel code regarding the Illinois Cannabis Regulation and Tax Act and the Sexual Harassment Training, Workplace Transparency Act.