HANNIBAL — The Hannibal Park Board recently took the initial step necessary for the Huckleberry Park pond to become a part of the Missouri Department of Conservation’s Community Assistance Program (CAP).
“This is something we have been working on with them for years and years,” said Andy Dorian, the director of central services for the city of Hannibal, during the July 15 meeting of the park board in council chambers at city hall. “The hiccup was the conservation department was requiring cities to allow icefishing if they were going to enter into this (CAP) agreement. They have since waived that (requirement). Our insurance company does not allow icefishing.”
Aron Lee, assistant director of central services — parks, sees only benefits from participating in the 25-year CAP agreement.
“It is of benefit to both of us, both organizations, to enter into this type of agreement,” he said. “The Huckleberry Park pond is considered waters of the state so any stocking of fish that goes on must go through the department of conservation. Going into a CAP agreement is our best solution right now to ensure we are doing things (in regards to the pond) correctly.”
“I don’t see any issues with it,” Dorian said regarding the agreement. “It really is a win win.”
Entering into the CAP agreement will ensure that Huckleberry Park will always have its pond.
“We have to maintain it (pond) for perpetuity,” Dorian said. “Entering into an agreement like this really doesn’t make any difference to us. Their only concern is they don’t want to do a bunch of work and then we tear the pond out. We have to maintain the pond forever because we received federal funding for it.”
The draft agreement which was approved by the park board at its most recent meeting will be sent to the department of conservation for a final review. After that it will go before the Hannibal City Council for approval and its authorization for Mayor James Hark to sign the CAP agreement.