Public turns out at Park Board to discuss cabins, cars
1 year, 8 months ago by Jamie Busen, QuincyJournal.com and WTAD News
Park District wants log cabins renovated or moved, wants Auto Club Museum moved
About 40 members of the public packed the Quincy Park District's Board of Commissioners meeting room Wednesday night in Emerson Community Center.
The crowd sat through the hour-and-a-half meeting mostly in support of two issues - the Log Cabin Village and the Mississippi Valley Historic Auto Club's Museum.
Months ago at a Commissioners retreat, the group came to a consensus about the Village and the Museum that have concerned the Friends of the Log Cabin and the auto club's members, as well as supporters of the two groups.
The Park Board wants a site plan from the FLC by March 2012 that shows renovations to the Village, which is located at Quinsippi Island. The Board wants the group to complete the renovations in three years, without asking the District for financial help, or else the District would ask the cabins be moved to a non-park site.
The Board also wants to work with the Museum group to help them find a new location for the Museum. It's currently in All-America Park. They've been given three years to do so, as the "Museum does not meet with our mission statement."
Commissioners were given the first draft of a 16-page comprehensive plan that outlines goals and objectives for the District to meet within the next five years.
Shortly after the meeting began, a handful of people spoke to District staff and the Board about the Village and Museum.
Larry Mitchell, president of the auto club, provided the District with copies of letters written between members of the District in 1981 and the club. The District stated then it had no intention of asking the club to vacate the premises and therefore there was no formal agreement drawn up.
Mitchell said they feel "betrayed" they received their "written official notice" by the way of minutes from the Board's retreat. He said they are a viable attraction that has provided entertainment for the public for the last 43 years.
Vicki Coons spoke out in support of both the Village and the Museum, as did FLC president John Gebhardt.
"What greater resource for our community to educate our current youth and the generations to come than to preserve our heritage and history and pass that on?" she said. "Through the Village and the museums we have in our community, we are afforded this opportunity and shame on all of us if we do not take full advantage of them, preserve them and keep them alive."
Park Board President John Frankenhoff has said the Village and Museum do not fit with the District's mission and future plans, and the District also doesn't have the financial means to support the maintenance or upkeep - now or in the years to come.
While the Board paged through the draft, Commissioners did not discuss further the Village or Museum during the meeting. The comprehensive plan will be discussed again and voted upon in October, with final adoption set for December.
In other discussion, staff talked about interest being renewed in bringing the Quincy Grand Prix of Karting back to South Park, although there is no money in the budget to repave the park.
The Board also heard a quick update on the costs of the city's June windstorm. The total amount of money spent through Aug. 31 by the District has surpassed $52,100.
The repair work for the Gardner Park Shelter and Madison Park Restroom will have to be bid out. A wall at Emerson and the roof of the women's restroom in the marina have been completely repaired.
The actual cash value of all the repairs is more than $155,130. The District will receive a check for that amount less its deductible of $5,000. The District has replacement cost insurance, so after repair work a check for about $30,000 should also be on its way.