Confusion about Wi-Fi installation leads to Park Board discussion about commitment to marina

Art Keller Marina

Art Keller Marina. | File photo by David Adam

QUINCY — A discussion about installing Wi-Fi service at Art Keller Marina eventually led to an informal vote Wednesday night by the Quincy Park Board to reaffirm its promise to keep the marina operating through 2025.

During a report on the finance committee, commissioner Mark Philpot said one topic of interest was an expense with Adams Fiber to install Wi-Fi. Executive Director Rome Frericks deferred to Don Hilgenbrinck, director of business services, to explain the situation. Hilgenbrinck said the equipment was bought in January.

“Adams had contacted me wanting to know if we were going to continue,” he said. “They wanted to know where we were at with the project. If not, they wanted us to return the merchandise and get it restocked (and pay a restocking fee).”

Philpot said the Park District was going to pay for $9,000 of the $15,000 cost for installation of the equipment. A group of boaters had pledged to pay $6,000, “and that has not yet materialized,” Philpot said. He said the relationship with Adams Fiber has been “strained” because of the delay in completing the installation.

Chris Griggs, a spokesperson for the boating group, then addressed the Park Board. He said the boating season in Quincy doesn’t typically get started until May 31.

“We talked about it last year that we were going to come up with money, and we’re going to use the boating season when we have our events to raise funds,” Griggs said. 

He said the Quincy Yacht Club had committed $1,000 to the project, and signage around the marina would net another $1,000. Griggs said the change in administration with the Park Board forced him to reschedule a breakfast fundraiser at the Quincy Boat Club until later this summer.

“We want that commitment,” Griggs said. “It wasn’t like we were waiting. There was a little confusion there about how we were going to use the whole entire summer (to raise money).”

Philpot said Adams Fiber needed an answer about Wi-Fi by Thursday

“We’re on a timeframe, and we are beholden to our vendor,” he said.

Commissioner Patty McGlothlin asked if the boating group can still make the commitment it pledged earlier. “Absolutely,” Griggs said.

Commissioner John Frankenhoff reminded the board that after it voted to close the marina in August 2022, it then voted unanimously in October to commit to keeping the financially struggling marina open through 2025. 

“Is there anyone on this board who thinks we should not honor that commitment?” Frankenhoff asked.

No one raised their hand. However, President Jarid Jones added, “Whatever happens after 2025 will be addressed in the (August) planning session.”

Frankenhoff believed it made more sense financially to continue with the project rather then return the equipment and pay a restocking fee.

“Even if (the boating group) only comes up with $5,000, we still come out ahead,” he said. “I trust that these guys, who made a commitment to us last fall, will continue contributing, putting forth efforts, down the list. This is the one remaining item that they put forth. They’ve done everything else in that agreement except for raising money, which they had an understanding they could do throughout the summer.”

“I feel like we made a commitment to them last summer,” McGlothlin said. “There was a miscommunication somewhere.”

Because the issue was not on the agenda, the board did not formally vote. However, each commissioner verbally told Frericks to continue with the Wi-Fi project.

Philpot said after the meeting he learned the equipment had to be installed before a set time — which he didn’t clarify.

“We had basically gotten to a point where the billing from Adams had been extended, basically, far beyond what they were supposed to,” he said. “We were operating under the contingency that the other entities were going to come through.

“When you know that you have a bill that is due, and you’re operating under the premise of having an extension of 15 days, 30 days, and then you exceed that … do you still expect to receive service? Probably not. You don’t get to set the timeline. I mean, I’m sorry. That’s just realistic. Their assumption that they would have the entire summer to raise those funds, that works well for them, but that doesn’t work well for the taxpayers.”

“There was a lack of communication,” Jones said after the meeting. “Nothing was provided for what this project was, other than separate conversations between that group and individuals here, but nothing from the previous administration.”

Miss Clipping Out Stories to Save for Later?

Click the Purchase Story button below to order a print of this story. We will print it for you on matte photo paper to keep forever.

Current Weather

THU
86°
66°
FRI
87°
65°
SAT
84°
68°
SUN
89°
73°
MON
91°
73°

Trending Stories