Park Board Intensifies Work On Master Plan

By ERIC X. VICCARO

eviccaro@stegenherald.com

The Ste. Genevieve Park and Recreation Board agreed recently to have meetings every two weeks surrounding the Pere Marquette Park master plan.

“We need to have the mindset we can do anything,” said park board member Lauren Smothers during discussions at a special planning meeting on Oct. 6.

Ward 4 Alderwoman and park board liaison Ashley Armbruster chimed in.

“We need to have a park that’s functional for the community,” she said.

The 40-minute meeting took place outside the Park House, with city administrator Happy Welch, Mayor Paul Hassler, tourism director Toby Carrig and field operations supervisor Gary Roth also present.

Geoff Duvall, who was officially named to the park board as part of Thursday’s aldermanic meeting consent agenda, said a consultant friend of his estimated construction of the walking/jogging trail at $450,000.

Nick and Mary Donze, as part of their master plan, recommended removing and replacing the existing trail with a 10-foot wide path made from concrete.

Park board president John Conard is checking on possible engineers to assist with laying out the new trail.

Armbruster added trails grants typically are 80/20 grants, which would mean 20 percent of project cost. She said to the park board members not to be “discouraged” by the price tag of the project.

In addition, Armbruster plans on attending a zoom teleconference with Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital to review their results from a recent community needs assessment.

The results may be beneficial to the board, and can be used in future grant applications.

One of early priorities in the Marquette Park master plan is construction of what’s called the “Adventure Playground.”

The board has been asked to look for financial help from Ste. Genevieve County-based businesses.

“You have momentum, so you need to start now,” Hassler urged the board.

SUBCOMMITTEES

During the meeting, the board and city workers were divided into various subcommittees — responsible for different aspects related to the master plan.

Barbara Basler-Peterson, John Karel, ex-park board member Samantha Kertz and new member Amie Dobbs agreed to be on a fundraising committee.

Mark Buchheit and Duval will serve as the trail subcommittee, with Smothers, Kertz and Roth teaming up on Adventure Playground. There also will be subcommittee dealing with future restroom updates.

Each subcommittee will give reports at the regular monthly meeting, as was reported in the minutes.

All the members agreed fundraising efforts will begin immediately, with a possible venture during the upcoming Pumpkin Glow on Oct. 24.