Park Board agrees to seek marina privatization proposals for second time

The Art Keller Marina on Quinsippi Island on Saturday, Sept. 19, 2020. The Quincy Park Board agreed to seek privatization proposals for the marina for the second time

QUINCY — Proposals will be sought a second time for a possible privatization of Art Keller Marina.

The Quincy Park Board on Wednesday agreed to request proposals to privatize the marina on Quinsippi Island.

The Park District sought proposals in January but received no responses. Commissioners agreed to seek proposals after boat slip rentals dipped by nearly 90 since 2011. The marina also had a loss of $11,746 in 2020, with a projected loss of $30,419 in 2021, which will require the Park District to dip into its corporate fund.

“We are hopeful there is interest from a private party that might bring something to the table that can make the marina a success,” Park Board President Roger Leenerts said.

Director of Parks Matt Higley told commissioners he was contacted by one interested party who wanted the information as soon as it was available.

Park District staff will hold a pre-proposal meeting at 11 a.m. June 24 with interested parties. Proposals are due by 2 p.m. July 8, and if an agreement is reached, the lessee would assume management of the marina April 1, 2022.

Commissioners also reviewed a strategic assessment of Westview Golf Course.

The plan was developed by Tristan Wood, an administrative assistant with the district, as part of his master’s degree coursework.

The plan was based off a survey offered to Westview golfers last year. Some suggestions Wood included are increasing the course’s social media presence, adding more youth golf lessons and promoting a youth family event at the course, such as a Starting New at Golf (SNAG) program, and offering a discount program for those bringing in new season pass holders.

“There are things that we could consider and possibly tweak,” Leenerts said. “I think any time somebody new is looking at one of our aspects of the Park District in presenting some new ideas. I think that’s a great thing.”

Though rounds of golf have fallen in recent years, they are climbing this year.

In 2021, rounds at Westview are up by more than 2,000 compared to 2019. Through May, 9,101 rounds have been played compared to 7,139 in 2019. With COVID-19 requiring golf courses to close, there were 3,156 played through May in 2020.

Even during a pandemic-shortened season in 2020, Westview had 27,369 rounds played, which was down about 1,600 rounds from the previous year.

Commissioners also heard Indian Mounds Pool opened over the weekend. Last month, Director of Program Services Mike Bruns told commissioners he was concerned about operations with only two lifeguards on staff.

The pool now has nine lifeguards with three more set to join the staff once they receive lifeguard certification.

“It looks 100 times better than it did last month,” Bruns said.

Recommended for you