Park Board Officially Approves Fund

By ERIC X. VICCARO

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City of Ste. Genevieve Board of Aldermen officially approved an agreement with the Community Foundation of the Ozarks during its regular meeting this past Thursday.

The agreement allows the foundation to serve as the nerve center for all fundraising efforts for Pere Marquette Park improvements.

It also allows contributions from donors to be tax deductible since the Community Foundation of the Ozarks is a 501(c)(3).

The Ste. Genevieve Parks and Recreation board on Monday, Jan. 25, approved $2,500 for the fund.

Board member John Karel made a motion to formally establish the fund, with Samer Zoughaib seconding the matter.

“With everyone on board, I think we all need to make a donation to it,” Karel added.

Ste. Genevieve city administrator Happy Welch said the Community Foundation of the Ozarks, based in Springfield, is currently in the process of receiving all the necessary paperwork.

Welch said the foundation will be fully established three to four weeks.

The creation of the fund also allows Mayor Paul Hassler and Welch to sign off on any expenditures. There is no one fixed bank for the account.

This had been the first park board meeting since late October.

FUNDRAISING EFFORTS

The remainder of the meeting focused on a slew of possible fundraising efforts for the newly created fund.

The fundraising committee met on Nov. 10, 2020, and Jan. 24, and plenty of ideas were submitted.

A small list of possible ideas includes: monthly bake sales, a McPark Night, donation jars at local businesses, a bonfire at the park, booth during this year’s Jour de Fete celebration, block party, adult-themed Easter egg hunt, raffles, movie night, card tournaments, food trucks, color runs and a disc golf tournament.

Aldermanic liaison Ashley Armbruster offered to assist with any flyers and promoting events on the Ste. Genevieve Parks’ Facebook page.

Monthly bake sales could possibly take place at both County Mart and Save-A-Lot, with goods delivered to Country Mart, and a portion sent to Save-A-Lot.

The fundraising committee is aiming to have its first bake sale on Saturday, Feb. 20.

McPark Night is self-explanatory, with park board members volunteering to work the drive-through window at McDonald’s — with a percentage of the evening’s profits going toward the fund.

An adult Easter egg hunt could take place on April 2, with glow-in-the-dark eggs. Local businesses could furnish gift certificates. A big-ticket item could be part of the giveaway, either a large television or a sizable cash amount.

SUBCOMMITTEE WORK

All of the other subcommittees continue to enact their due diligence in relation to Pere Marquette Park’s Master Plan.

Park board member Lauren Smothers with check with board president John Conard about whether drone footage has been filmed — with Nick Donze providing narration on what improvements are expected to be made.

Conard, who was absent from the meeting, also was expected to work with an engineer to lay out the new trail.

Welch said he’s working on a grant that could cover the cost of one-third of the new trail.

A resolution of the city to affirm its application with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources for the recreational trail program was accepted as part of the consent agenda at Thursday’s aldermen meeting.

The playground and bathroom committees didn’t have much new to report.

During the meeting, it was suggested that new signage be installed at both Ste. Genevieve City Hall and Marquette Park to show the improvement plans, and how serious the park board is committed to these efforts.

FIELD REPORT AND MORE

• Field operations supervisor Gary Roth reported the installation of four new dog waste stations at Pinkley Park, Valle Springs and Marquette Park.

However, one of the waste stations was installed too close to Hole No. 8 on the disc golf course, as noted by park board member Geoff Duvall, and already needs to be moved.

• Trees donated by Al Keiser have been planted, dedicated to master plan creators Nick and Mary Donze.

• At Pinkley Park, Roth noted landscaping will remain around the sign and picnic tables and benches were fixed or repaired before the dedication last October.

• Before the meeting wrapped up, there were discussions on adding recreational opportunities for cyclists.

Zoughaib opened the discussion, with the possibility of creating a mountain bike track throughout Marquette Park.

Armbruster mentioned possibly installing a speed/pump track at the current skate park located at 398 North Fourth Street.

Some tracks are pre-formed, Armbruster added, and the general consensus was to pursue this idea further. There is a speed/pump track in the Missouri community of Pineville, which has been a regional attraction of note.

MEETING CHANGE

Park board meetings have been moved from the fourth Tuesday to the fourth Monday of every month. The next session will take place at 6 p.m. on Feb. 22.