Hannibal City Council to see plans first on April 3; final reading expected on April 17

The process of giving the proposed riverfront plans final local approval begins Tuesday, April 3, when they go before the Hannibal City Council for a first reading. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. in council chambers at city hall.

Because they will be making a cash contribution to the riverfront renovation project, also being asked to sign off on the diagrams will be the Hannibal Park Board (April 12) and Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau (April 17). The proposal will wind up back before the council for second and final reading at its April 17 meeting.

“All the boards will have seen it prior to final council approval,” said Andy Dorian, director of the Hannibal Parks and Recreation Department, during the March 15 meeting of the park board.

The local approval process could actually begin in advance of being OK’d for the necessary permits by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

According to Dorian, the plans have undergone some revisions.

“There has actually been one major change - there is no more sheet-metal wall. It has changed to a strictly rip-rap wall,” he said. “The (steel) wall itself was going to be over $5 million. Going to rip rap saves a ton of money. It makes the project doable this way.”

Looking for ways to save money on the project is not the only riverfront related financial discussion which has taken place at city hall.

“We’ve had multiple finance meetings,” said Dorian. “I can say the way we set the financing up it is long term. It does allow us money to still do things (elsewhere in the parks system) every single year, which is kind of what we talked about all along. We didn’t want to front load it so the parks department couldn’t do anything for five years or have a payment that is too high. But the total sum payment is no higher than what it was and if things work out we might even be below that. It just depends on some variables.”

Local support for the riverfront proposal remains strong, according to Dorian. Following a recent meeting with a group of “current slip renters” the parks department director said “everyone is super happy and excited” about the project.

“There are no issues,” he said. “I don’t see any concerns there.”

Reach reporter Danny Henley at danny.henley@courierpost.com