Riverfront steering committee reviews master plan

The Quincy Riverfront Steering Committee reviews its revised master plan on Thursday.

QUINCY — A consolidated master plan for the Quincy riverfront using public input from survey results in January was presented by the Quincy Riverfront Steering Committee on Thursday.

A total of 778 people responded to last month’s survey. In total, 2,796 survey responses have been collected by the steering committee.

According to the results of the latest survey, flood mitigation, Maine Street improvements, the location of the Bill Klingner Trail and Lincoln Park were the fundamental considerations. Regarding flood mitigation, 74% of survey participants preferred a mitigation strategy that would reduce flood probability from 20% to 4%.

Preferred features from the two concepts presented in January included an event plaza, a restaurant row on Hampshire Street, Gateway Overlook and Riverfront Edge Trail.

With the numerous projects on the table, questions were raised about parking. In Lincoln Park, there are plans for a stage with seating for 2,500 people.

Adams County Finance Committee Chairman Bret Austin said there are a lot of a good elements to the plan but adequate parking is his first concern.

“You don’t have the parking support for the amount of people that you would cram into an event down there for that stage,” Austin said.

Mike Klingner of Klingner and Associates said the idea was to get as much green space as possible between Hampshire and Vermont. There were other ideas to add parking but those were removed to accommodate more event space, which was a common request among the public.

The hope is that people can utilize the various parking lots in downtown Quincy and walk a few blocks to the event areas. Cullan Duke of Klingner and Associates said there also is parking south of the Northside Boat Club for events.

To fund the projects, Quincy Mayor Kyle Moore said the city could start working on state grant funding. There is also $1 million in tax increment financing revenue earmarked for an additional riverfront project, which Moore said would be an “early win.”

Austin proposed using an investment group and selling shares of stock.

“You get people to invest in a low dollar amount but they feel part of the development in general because it’s much harder to throw arrows at something that you’re personally invested in it,” Austin said.

Austin also suggested naming rights for new riverfront features or corporate sponsorships.

In addition to the riverfront plans, the committee reviewed a master plan for Lincoln Park that would include an outdoor stage and seating for about 2,500 people, an exercise station and additional landscaping.

Because the park resembles the shape of Illinois, the plan also proposes a walking path that would include interpretive sign panels about the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Their placement would correspond with the locations of each debate.

Quincy Park District board member Jeff Steinkamp said the district should be able to pull the trigger on the project pretty quickly once funding is secured.

Moore said this project will be a great momentum builder for riverfront development.

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