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Prairie Creek Park on its way to implementation

PRAIRIE CREEK PARK: Passed by the Frankfort City Council Monday on third reading, the $4.5 million Prairie Creek Park is projected to be completed by Hot Dog Festival 2019.

BY SHARON BARDONNER - sbardonner@ftimes.com

The Frankfort City Council gave the proposed Prairie Creek Park project the go-ahead Monday when they voted 6-1 to amend the redevelopment area to include PCP as well as the 4.5 million bond sale to finance it.

The project had already been approved by the Redevelopment Commission, the Planning Commission, and the City Council on three readings. 

Council member Lewis Wheeler continued to vote against the project, having recommended it be pared down in scope and cost.

On Tuesday, the Redevelopment Authority, created for the project to meet the statutory requirements on debt, was scheduled to convene for the first time.

“Now we move on to implementation,” said Mayor Chris McBarnes. 

He noted that contributions to the project continued to roll in following the announcements of the major donations made by the Clinton County Community Foundation, The Farmers Bank, Encompass Credit Union and NHK Seating of America. 

Donors also include Frankfort Municipal Utilities General Manager Todd Corrie, who donated half of his annual pay raise for 2018 to the project and John Wampler, who donated $10,000.

McBarnes said Bill and Sonja Miller of Goodwin Funeral Home had also pledged their support with their contribution amount to go unannounced.

“It’s a fantastic feeling,” said McBarnes. “From approving the money for the Downtown Revitalization Plan to seeing the plan come to life. It’s surreal, and it shows what Frankfort is capable of.

“I also think after I leave office at the end of next year, this momentum will continue.”

As the next step, McBarnes and the other members of the owners’ representation team – council member Joe Palmer, Board of Works member Ken Estes and Frankfort Parks Superintendent Travis Sheets – will meet with Rundell Ernstberger and Associates to get the design and construction process started.

“We’ll get into the essence of the details, such as the collar of the stage, so bid specs can be developed,” he said.

McBarnes has said he has also been contacted by Cindy Shoup Cacy regarding what type of backroom facilities, such as a kitchen, might be needed.

“We’ll be collecting small comments and input on things like that,” he said. “Every little detail will be looked at, and that’s a neat feeling. Also, support has been coming from everywhere.”

A pass-through account will be set up with the Clinton County Community Foundation to be used to pay off the Bond Anticipation Note, said McBarnes.

“Our goal is to have it open for Hot Dog Festival 2019.”

In other business, Utility Service Board Chairman Mike Kelley invited the council, the Board of Works and the public to join the Utility Service Board and Frankfort Municipal Utilities General Manager Todd Corrie at a work session from 6-8 p.m. Wednesday, April 25, to discuss the wasterwater treatment expansion.

To accommodate more people, the meeting will be held at the Community Schools of Frankfort Education and Administration Office.