Park Board pledges to keep marina open through 2025, votes to auction off parcel of land in Parker Heights Park

Art Keller Marina

Commissioners were unanimous in voting to commit to keep the financially struggling Art Keller Marina open through 2025. | David Adam

QUINCY — Two issues dominating the Quincy Park Board agenda for the past few months were resolved Wednesday night.

Commissioners were unanimous in voting to commit to keep the financially struggling Art Keller Marina open through 2025. Commissioners voted 5-2 to declare a 1.13-acre parcel of land in Parker Heights Park is no longer needed or useful for park purposes. They also voted 5-2 to schedule an auction for that parcel, with a starting price of $25,000.

“Quite a bit of time and energy has gone into the two issues,” said John Frankenhoff, Park Board president. “It’s going to be good to move on and move forward.”

The future of Art Keller Marina has changed dramatically since commissioners met Aug. 1 for their annual planning session.

At the time of that meeting, the number of slips bought had gone from 194 (out of a possible 222) in 2011 to 115 in 2022. A capital needs assessment showed more than $450,000 worth of work is needed during the next 10 years to keep the marina operational. Efforts to find private management to take over the marina had been unsuccessful.

The marina has lost money in each of the past three years. Park District officials project the marina will lose an estimated $22,822 in 2022.

Commissioners pledged during the planning session to continue operations through 2023.

“The board basically just felt like, due to the financials and the problems and the struggles, they no longer want to commit to keeping it open,” Frankenhoff said in August. “We don’t have an exit strategy other than to say it would be closed. The phrase we agreed on was ‘unless something drastically changes.’”

Frankenhoff and commissioner Jeff VanCamp attended an Aug. 10 meeting with Park District officials and 10 local boaters to discuss long-term and short-term goals for keeping the marina open. Another subsequently fruitful meeting eventually led to Frankenhoff and VanCamp pledging at September’s Park Board meeting that they would vote for keeping the marina open for two more years.

“The biggest game changer was productive, meaningful conversations with members of the renting or boating community,” Frankenhoff said after the meeting. “Granted, there were only two meetings as a whole group, but there were a lot of phone calls and emails in addition to that. It’s going to be important to make sure they continue to be partners with the Park District. There’s no doubt in my mind that their efforts and commitments are sincere and genuine.”

The boating group pledged to:

  • Support a 10 percent increase in annual rental fees. 
  • Provide hands-on mentoring to help people understand the nuances of the river, specifically pool 21, with an emphasis on safety.
  • Open the marina in early spring by cleaning and preparing the docks.
  • Develop a package of information useful to boaters.
  • Place buoys to aid larger boats navigating to the gas dock. 
  • Buy new life jackets to loan to boaters at no charge. 
  • Organize a fundraiser with proceeds going to the marina. 

Chris Griggs, spokesperson of the boating group, echoed Frankenhoff’s thoughts.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said. “We’ve got to work on trying to get more renters in. A lot of boaters have stepped up. We’re excited to make it move forward and make it better.”

Commissioner Barb Holthaus thought Frankenhoff’s statement about the marina in August — “unless something drastically changes” — may have unintentionally been the spark to get the boaters and Park District to work together.

“I was concerned with the direction that the numbers (for slips bought in the marina) were heading,” she said. “(Frankenhoff’s statement) may have been a little stronger wording than what some of us were comfortable with, but certainly the response was exactly what we needed to see and get us moving in the positive direction that was needed.”

Holthaus and commissioner Patty McGlothlin voted against the sale of the parcel of land in Parker Heights Park and the subsequent auction of the parcel. Both wanted the issue put to an advisory vote of the public.

“The responses and the comments that I’ve received personally (about the sale) prompted me to slow the roll,” Holthaus said. “We have the ability and the authority to proceed, but we represent the community. The message to me was very clear. This is something that not everyone is on board with. The speakers we heard and the other comments we received through correspondence prompted me to vote against it.”

Frankenhoff said state law says the Park Board could commit to the sale if the size of the property was less than three acres.

“That’s what we’re elected to do — make decisions like that,” he said. “Could we have done a referendum? Yeah, it’s within the realm of possibility. But the Park District has never done an advisory referendum in the past on any decisions, regardless of how complicated or complex or controversial they are. I think people put us in these chairs to make these kinds of decisions.”

Knapheide Manufacturing previously offered $25,000 for the property adjoining its truck equipment center at 2431 N. Fifth. However, Frankenhoff said, “By no means does this mean Knapheide will get this property. ($25,000) is only the starting price.”

Commissioners also voted to:

  • Call a public hearing on Nov. 9 to sell $1 million in general obligation bonds and publish a Bond Issue Notification Act notice.
  • Approve the Truth in Taxation Act resolution and estimate the amount of 2022 tax funds to be levied is $2,448,198. Frankenhoff said the Park District’s tax levy has decreased for the fourth consecutive year. “That’s something we should be proud of,” he said.
  • Approved the Fiscal Year 2022 amended budget. The Park District has more personal property replacement tax (PPRT) revenue than what it expected and will use pension fund reserves to put an additional $300,000 in its Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund. “Where we are as a Park District, we are either at 100 percent or near 100 percent funded on our pension obligations,” Frankenhoff said. “For a local government body, that is very unusual.”
  • Authorize the sale of surplus property — a structure in Art Keller Marina at levy space No. 10 with a 40-foot walkway, four spud poles, a metal roof and an approximately 1,950 square foot dock. Frankenhoff hopes the Park District will sell the structure to someone who will keep it in the marina.

Commissioners also reviewed the 2003 capital project bond list. The big ticket items on the list were a shelter replacement at Wavering Park, a restroom replacement at Berrian Park and a parking lot addition at Moorman Park.

Quincy Park District Recreation Attendance Figures 2022

Indian Mounds92436953na1089911728
Pool Swim Lessons9868na4769
Water Babies2112na1412
Pool Private-Birthday Parties1214na1812
Pool Events: Splash Bashes, Dive-In Movie15nananana
IMP: Pool Concessions2275615037na2356628104
Pool Passes331231na8787
IMP: Customer Appreciation Day524157nanana
Batting Cage Facility
Customer Appreciation Day7271167nanana
Mini Golf44257509723650761661$66,000*
Paddle Boats5110529141395112$4500*
Bike Rentals601003358$0*
Adult Co-Ed Softball165players/ 11 teams105 players/ 7 teamsna90 players/ 6 teams 0
Adult Soccer League120 players/ 6 teams100 players/ 5 teamsna00
Adult Softball195 players/ 13 teams135 players/ 9 teamsna150 players/ 10 teams150 players/ 10 teams
After School Program63nananana
Aqua Zumba2310na12na
Fishing Clinics144122150130150
Horsing Around1111nanana
Low Impact Fitness Exercise (LIFE)10560322242
Natural Born Explorers105nanana
North Quincy Sports475525150nana
Pickleball Tournament48 players/ 24 teams58 players/ 29 teamsna38players/ 19 teams0
Sand Volleyball400 players/ 40 teams390 players/ 39 teamsna240 players/ 24 teams280 players/ 28 teams
Special Populations50 daily/ 1,45050 daily/ 1,450na31 daily/ 1,24036 daily/ 1,044
Summer Playground/Summer Adventures 2021 53 daily/ 1802 51 daily/ 1,73436 daily/ 1,08035 daily/ 1,40060 daily/ 2,040
Tennis - Youth Instruction11269409652
Tennis - Family Lessons2116111814
Tiny Tumblers1015nanana
Walk a Hound, Lose a Pound1410nanana
Yoga 8151168na
Youth Baseball/Softballsee belowsee belowsee belowsee belowsee below
Little League age 7-13/Baseball age 7-12 2021350 players/ 27 teams301 players/ 23 teamsna228 players/ 18 teams318 players/ 23 teams
Girls Softball age 7-12175 players/ 15 teams165 players/ 14 teamsna146 players/ 12 teams185 players/ 16 teams
Boys Baseball age 14-16 nanananana
T-Ball age 3-6, age 3-4 2021169 players/ 14 teams174 players/ 13 teamsna365 players/ 29 teams425 players/ 32 teams
12U Competitive League104 players/ 8 teams104 players/ 8 teamsna130 players/ 10 teams117 players/ 9 teams
10U Competitive League65 players/ 5 teams78 players/ 6 teamsna0 91 players/ 7 teams
14U Competitive Leaguena143 players/ 11 teams na156 players/ 12 teams156 players/ 12 teams
Total Little League/Baseball/Softball/ T-Ball863 players/ 69 teams965 players/ 75 teamsna1,025players/ 81 teams1,292players/ 99 teams
Youth Baseball/Softball Sponsors 38 Team/ 10 Sign29 Team/ 11 Signna30 Team/ 7 Sign30 Team/ 7 Sign
Youth Soccer Spring370 players/ 33 teams409 players/ 39 teamsna457 players/ 42 teams656 players/ 62 teams
Youth Soccer Ages 3-4 yrs.Spring125 players/ 10 teams148 players/ 14 teamsna220 players/ 20 teams254 players/ 24 teams
Youth Soccer Fall241 players/ 24 teams258 players/ 25 teamsna452 players/ 42 teams534 players/ 47 teams
Youth Soccer Ages 3-4 yrs. Fall104 players/ 10 teams117 players/ 11 teamsna173 players/ 16 teams161 players/ 14 teams
Zumba Fitness411320na
IMP Summer Playgroundnana57nana
Home Run Derbynana13nana
Soccer Shootoutnana39nana
Free Throw/Three Point Contestnana17nana
STEM Activitynana52nana
Pickleball Lessons nana14458
Nature Programs nana196345239
Outdoor Fitnessnana372811
Mountain Bikingnanana2927
3 on 3 Basketball nanana5090
Nature Walk Expeditions nanana5220
Pop Paddle Tennis nanana11na
Youth Golf Lessons nanana10464
Lacrosse Clinicsnanana83??
Special Events
Breakfast With Santa225/At Mall120/At Mallna100??
Date nights Mother/Son - Father/Daughter184298266na216
Disc Golf Tournament11512710390144
Easter Event525475nana550
Fall Festival at Batting Cage Area1000600na350350
Fishing Rodeo50100na5060
Family Fun In the Sun175350na3040
Bill Klingner Trail Event3220nanana
Outdoor Concerts725500nanana
Outdoor Movies In the Park24001400na425525
Special Populations Holiday Dance220187na140??
Storytelling By the Campfire4025nanana
Tennis Fest8575na7575
Family Scavenger Hunt nanana200211
Kite Flying EventnananaRain6
Batting Cage Special Daysnananana70

Quincy Park District Recreation Program Financial Report 2022

Youth Baseball/Softball6706568020955
Youth Soccer *200004602026020
Summer Adventures 157710-15771
Sand Volleyball229844802182
Date Nights43153777-538
Fishing Clinics15210-1521
Outdoor Fitness555450-105
Nature Programs21500-2150
Adult/Co-ed Softball *87995100-3699
Special Populations *185001500-17000
Archery 57464450-1296
Adult Soccer000
3 on 3 Basketball 73627001964
Special Events (Family Fun in the Sun, Outdoor Movies)50000-5000
Showmobile *104052254185
Indian Mounds Pool *13053372183-58350
Batting Cage Facility *137564130575-6989
* Projected
Recreation Fund deficit for 2022 ($802) projected 12/31/22
Recreation Fund budget for 2023($72,183) projected 12/31/23
Recreation Fund cash balance $709,241 projected 12/31/22
Recreation Fund cash balance $637,058 projected 12/31/23
Recreation Fund cash reserve required207090

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