Not-for-profit foundation for riverfront development gets approval by Internal Revenue Service

Riverfront Foundation

From left, Quincy Mayor Mike Troup, Mike Klingner and Hal Oakley take questions after announcing the formation of the Quincy Riverfront Development Foundation. | David Adam

QUINCY — The formation of a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) foundation to help raise money for the Quincy Riverfront Development Corporation finally has received approval from the Internal Revenue Service.

Quincy Mayor Mike Troup called a press conference for Tuesday afternoon to announce the creation of the Quincy Riverfront Development Foundation. The first three members of the foundation are Hal Oakley, chairman of Quincy law firm Schmiedeskamp, Robertson, Neu and Mitchell; Mike Klingner, president and chief engineer of Klingner and Associates; and Troup.

Troup said the city started working in April 2021 on the formation of the foundation.

“Getting the sign-off from the IRS took over a year, I think mainly because of COVID,” Troup said. “Now we’ve got that approved, (we) recently opened up the bank account. We’re thrilled to finally say we’re able to accept checks from anybody or any organization willing to make contributions toward the Quincy riverfront development. As that money grows, it will be a contribution toward whatever the other riverfront committee decides is the next project.”

Troup made the announcement a little more than 24 hours before the September meeting of the Quincy Riverfront Development Corporation.

Corporation member Tieraney Craig said during the corporation’s June 30 meeting that most of the nine members agreed with the creation of a funding mechanism. However, she said she was hesitant to have just three people on the foundation. Corporation member Duane Venvertloh suggested the QRDC board file for its own charitable designation and meld the corporation and the foundation into one group comprising the same nine members.

QRDC president Jeff Steinkamp eventually asked the corporation to consider adding four of its members — one each representing the city, county, and Park District, and one at-large member — to the foundation. Troup said he was open to that idea.

Klingner said the riverfront foundation was modeled after how Quincy Park District created the Quincy Park District Foundation.

“People can donate for different phases,” he said. “Say there’s one element of the overall master plan that’s been developed. They may want to donate for that particular part of the project. Maybe down the road, this can be invested in a way for later, or there may be a project it has identified to move quickly on.

“This will be a combination of grants, donations and other types of funding mechanisms. We know, for example, when the York Street bridge comes, there’s going to be additional dollars for Maine Street to make that more pedestrian friendly. They may be contained to the riverfront project. If you don’t have an overall master plan, you really can’t get those elements put together.”

Troup emphasized that any money given to the riverfront foundation must be used for riverfront development. He said he’s already talked to different groups.

“We slowed down (on donations) because (potential donors) wanted to make sure their contribution could be a tax deduction,” the mayor said. “We have called people again and let them know, ‘We’re good. We’re ready to go.’” 

Troup says $50 million worth of plans are part of the riverfront master plan, and he believes all the financing will come from different grant money.

“The city has done a fair amount of grant applications already, and we will continue to do that when we learn about specific grant opportunities,” Troup said. “I’m sure there’s going to be fundraising events. There will be other letters and contacts we’re going to continue to make to help raise those dollars.”

The QRDC will direct the implementation of the Riverfront Master Plan in the 89 acres of land along the Quincy riverfront, with the boundaries of Kentucky Street to Spring Street; Third Street to the riverfront; and the Maine Street right-of-way from Third Street to Fourth Street.

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