Art Keller Marina will remain open through at least the end of 2023.
After that, there are a few questions.
The Quincy Park District operates the facility, but has been consistently losing money on it for years. There have been attempts to find a private operator, but none have stepped forward and followed through.
The Park District did receive a request last week from a potential operator, but that person requested an extension to late September in order to put a full operating plan in place and prepare for 2022. Park District officials are not yet releasing the name of the interested party.
The Park Board approved the extension and also committed to keeping the marina open through the end of 2023. At first, the resolution was to commit through 2022, but Park Board member John Frankenhoff said one of the reasons slip rentals were down was because of the uncertainty of the marina’s future. Frankenhoff said that was what he had heard from boaters who attended the Park Board’s special meeting dealing with the marina held in late May.
The marina operated in the black, on paper, from 2012-2018, and even turning a $20,567 profit in 2014. However, the marina lost $5,374 in 2019 and $11,711 in 2020, and it is projected to lose $30,000 in 2021. But Park District officials say when depreciation is factored in, the marina has lost an average of $45,318 over the past 10 years.
During the discussion, Park District Executive Director Rome Frericks clearly stated, “Our goal is NOT to close the marina.”
The Board approved the resolution 5-1 with Board President Roger Leenerts opposing. Leenerts said he supported the original motion for 2022, but did not support the extension through 2023.
So the Park Board will consider the matter again at its October meeting.
The Park Board also heard from members of the Historical Society of Quincy and Adams County, who would like to spearhead an effort to make repairs to the George Rogers Clark statue located on the bluff overlooking the bay in Ben Bumbry Riverview Park.
Clark’s scabbard, or sheath for his sword, was broken off decades ago. Historical Society board member Dr. George Crickard said the estimates are between $4,000 and $7,000 to make the necessary repairs and he pledged the Historical Society would raise the funds.
Frankenhoff said he would like the Park District to provide an additional funds needed for the project, but no action was taken. Leenerts said he wanted to be sensitive to any concerns there might be over Clark’s statute, citing the “controversy” existing in the country these days regarding such monuments.
This past weekend, the University of Virginia – Charlottesville removed a statue of Clark, citing that it was offensive to Native Americans. That statue showed Clark, a Revolutionary War general from Kentucky who led the country’s expansion to the Mississippi River, riding a horse toward three Native Americans as two frontiersmen waited behind him. The pedestal declared in engraved letters, “CONQUEROR OF THE NORTHWEST.”
The Historical Society will put together an official proposal for the project and submit it to the Park District.
And in the public comment period of the meeting, Jared Tipton of the 8te Open food truck asked the Park Board to consider relaxing the restrictions for food trucks in the parks. Under current rules, they just cannot simply set up shop in a park unless it is associated with an event or festival.
Since it was brought up during the public comment period, no action was taken.
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