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Hannibal Courier - Post - Hannibal, MO
  • Another Kiwanis Park upgrade approved

  • Another improvement to Kiwanis Park on the Hannibal riverfront will be moving forward some time this spring. On Tuesday night the City Council approved the purchase of a large shelter for the park.
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    Another improvement to Kiwanis Park on the Hannibal riverfront will be moving forward some time this spring. On Tuesday night the City Council approved the purchase of a large shelter for the park.
    A 30-foot by 40-foot shelter will be erected in the downtown park, which is one of the city’s most popular parks, according to Andy Dorian, director of the Parks and Recreation Department.
    The accepted bid of $26,778 was submitted by Nutoys Leisure Products. It was the lone bid submitted. The Parks Department budgeted $100,000 for the purchase and construction of a new shelter for Kiwanis Park.
    “There will be additional costs including equipment rental, concrete, grills, signs, etc.,” noted Dorian in a memo to the Council. “The picnic tables for the shelter were built in partnership with a local Eagle Scout project. The Parks Department donated the money for the material and the young man and his fellow scouts constructed the tables.”
    The new shelter is expected to arrive in between a month and month-and-a-half, according to Dorian.
    “Parks staff will pour the foundation and construct the shelter once it has been delivered and it should be available for use by late spring,” he said.
    While the park already features small, covered areas where people can picnic, Dorian believes having a larger shelter available will prove popular.
    “The new shelter will provide the Parks Department another facility in which to rent out to the public,” he said.
    The shelter will be constructed adjacent to the playground in the park’s northwest corner. New playground equipment for Kiwanis Park was purchased in 2013 and installed last summer. It was made available to the public on Aug. 16.
     
    Park history.
    According to "Hannibal, Too" by J. Hurley Hagood and Roberta (Roland) Haygood, the park area on Hannibal's riverfront has existed since the early 1900s. However, in its early days it was known as Electric Park because it was located in front of the city's electric plant.
    In the early 1970s, after numerous floods and neglect, the park was in a state of decline. While officials at city hall wanted to convert the site into a parking area, the Kiwanis Club stepped forward and said the park should be preserved because of its proximity to the river.
    The Kiwanis and other organizations worked together to pay for improvements to the park. With the help of volunteer labor, Kiwanis Club members built shelters and picnic tables, and planted trees and shrubs. Fencing was installed to separate the park from railroad tracks.
    It was at about this time the name was officially changed to Kiwanis Park.
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