Frericks encourages community to attend Thursday open house to see plan for Quincy Bay rehabilitation project

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A look at the Mississippi River to the north from the Quinsippi Island bridge. | MRN file photo by David Adam

QUINCY — Rome Frericks, executive director for the Quincy Park District, wants anybody interested in the tentative plan for the Quincy Bay habitat rehabilitation and enhancement project to come to an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Oakley-Lindsay Center, 300 Civic Center Plaza.

The open house will be conducted in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Rock Island District, Quincy Bay Area Restoration and Enhancement Association (QBAREA), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.

The project, federally funded through the Upper Mississippi River Restoration program, includes approximately 2,350 acres in Pool 21 of the Upper Mississippi River near Quincy. The area includes interconnected channels, small natural bays, a bottomland forest, a small boat harbor and a cut-through channel.

“It’s the plan that we have worked on for the last three years,” Frericks said after a 15-minute meeting of the Quincy Park Board on Wednesday night. “So we’re showing to the public what the plan is for the 2,350 acres in Quincy Bay from the bridge to the triangle to and the cut-through.

“The more support we get, the better show we get because the colonels are coming down from Rock Island, and (Rep.) Mary Miller is trying to come in from Washington, D.C. That’s how important it is. The open house and support from everybody is what we need just to keep the ball rolling.”

The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee gave tentative approval in August 2021 to allocate $33 million to the restoration.

“Now it’s just showing everybody all the hard work that we’ve done,” Frericks said. “We’re going to have six or seven different areas for people can pop in and talk to the Corps, talk to the fisheries, talk to the DNR biologists, talk to QBAREA and go over our plan and make comments. Then we’ll talk about those comments in the next couple of months after that. 

“Hopefully we’ll get this plan finalized and stamped to keep the ball rolling and get dirt moving here.”

Frericks hopes work on the project can begin in five years.

In other action, the Park Board:

  • Learned the Park District will be closing on the acquisition of the Paul Dennis Soccer Complex on Feb. 23.
  • Learned work is complete on the installation of two turf baseball/softball fields in Moorman Park.
  • Approved the Adams County Multi-Jurisdictional Natural Hazards Mitigation Plan, which evaluates damage to life and property from natural and man-made hazards that have impacted the county and participating jurisdictions and identifies projects and activities to reduce these damages before an event occurs. The plan fulfills federal planning requirements of the Stafford Act as amended by the Disaster Mitigation Act of 2000 and the Disaster Recovery and Reform Act. 
  • Approved the purchase from Derhake Construction for the installation of two six-inch water valves in Wavering and Moorman Park for $7,972. This will help Park District staff keep more water on in the event of a water leak. One valve each will be installed for the Wavering turf fields and one for the Wavering restroom and shelter area.
  • Approved a bid for chemical purchases for grounds maintenance at Westview Golf Course. The actual amount purchased and cost will depend on weather conditions.
  • Learned from Mike Bruns, director of program services, that he has received several applications for summer employment. However, most of the applicants are 15 years old, “which is fine,” Bruns said. “The last few years, that’s all we’ve been able to hire pretty much is 15-year-olds. I can remember 10 years ago when I would hardly ever hire a 15-year-old, but now that’s probably 70 percent of what we get. That’s good if they stay with us for four, five or six years.”

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