The deadline to offer public comment regarding the Hannibal riverfront renovation options is Friday, May 27. Andy Dorian, director of the Parks & Recreation Department, announced the pending deadline at last week’s meeting of the Park Board.
The deadline comes just over two weeks after two possible riverfront projects were unveiled to the public. During the May 11 open house, two concepts were on display. One of the options (B) would retain the marina. The other plan (A) would sacrifice the marina in favor of additional park space.
"Other than that (marina) they (plans) are pretty close to each other and we did that on purpose," Dorian told the Park Board.
Comments should be dropped at the Parks & Recreation Department’s office, located on the first floor of City Hall, 320 Broadway. Comment cards are being accepted regardless of whether they are signed or anonymous.
As of the May 19 meeting of the Park Board, Dorian reported 70 responses had been received that favor filling in the marina and converting it into additional park space. Thirty-five cards had been turned in that favored retaining the docking area.
There are strong feelings of both sides of the marina issue, according to Dorian.
"The passionate people are equally passionate on both sides," he said. "The people that have grown up in the marina all their lives are obviously very passionate about it. There’s also a lot of people who remember when that marina wasn’t there and never wanted it there in the first place."
Of the comments received thus far, none have called for major changes to the plans. Most have proposed an assortment of amenities.
"There have been some really good public comments about some different features down there, things that people would like to see," said Dorian.
One likely revision to Plan A will center around the planned boat ramp.
"That will probably wind up being changed a little bit," said Dorian. "There is concern both on our end and the boaters’ end about dropping into the current right there so we are exploring alternative options for that boat ramp. There will be a boat ramp, a very nice boat ramp.
It just probably won’t be as it is on that (Option A) plan."
Also still in the works is working out a spot for recreational boaters to dock if the marina is eliminated.
"We want to be able to have some transient docking areas, whether that’s north by the boat club with a partnership with them or fitting some docks in there. It’s definitely something the city wants to accommodate," said Dorian.
Once the final comments are received and their sentiments are compiled, the next step in the process is planned.
"The goal is to have another meeting with the engineers to go over all the public comments," said Dorian.
The stated time line will have the Park Board considering which of the options to endorse at its June 16 meeting. That recommendation will accompany the options when they go before the City Council for its final decision in July.
"After the Council decides on the option we’ll go back to Klingner to have an engineering agreement made to start permitting. Permitting will take anywhere from nine to 12 months," said Dorian. "My personal opinion is the earliest we would start construction is the fall of ‘17. I look at it from start to finish being a two-year time line because you don’t know on spring flooding, bad winters, stuff like that."
Reach reporter Danny Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org