Request to Park Board for $25,000 donation to Riverfront Development Corporation tabled

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QUINCY — During a meeting where the Fiscal Year 2023 budget was unanimously passed and Rome Frericks, executive director of the Quincy Park District, was given a raise, most of the debate centered around the Quincy Riverfront Development Corporation’s request for a $25,000 donation for startup costs.

The corporation, created earlier this year, is led by Park Board Commissioner Jeff Steinkamp. He requested that the donation be voted on and approved during Wednesday’s night meeting.

Overseeing approximately 89 acres of riverfront property, the corporation hopes to oversee roughly $50 million in improvements during the next 10-12 years.

Park Board President John Frankenhoff had concerns about the donation.

“We’re basically making (a donation) just like you would as a private citizen, where we have no control on how that money is going to be spent. It’s unprecedented,” he said. “That’s what concerns me. I think we need to pause for a month and allow our attorney to do the research and check the legality of it.”

The board unanimously voted to table the discussion for one month.

Frankenhoff said the $8.405 million Fiscal Year 2023 budget that was approved doesn’t match expected expenditures — but emphasized it’s nothing to be alarmed about.

“If (the public) were to look at our budget or read a summary of it, it’s going to jump out to them that the budget includes expenses that are nearly $2 million higher than our expected revenue,” Frankenhoff said. “I understand that could be alarming to some people, but that’s normal for us. That’s what we do year after year. At the end of the year, the numbers come out just fine.”

The board unanimously approved a $4,000 raise for Frericks, who now will earn $95,000 annually.

In other business, the Board approved the following measures:

  • A payment to the Illinois Municipal Retirement Fund of $400,000.
  • A bid for improvements to the Moorman Park Batting Cage.
  • A public sale of surplus equipment.
  • Transfer and close inactive bond debt retirement funds.

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