The St. Joseph City Council voted 7-1 to approve $275,000 to be used for the development of Krug Park Amphitheater during a meeting Monday.
City Councilman P.J. Kovac was the lone dissenting vote and said the Council is rushing this decision.
Others on the Council said the vote was only for preliminary work, including a feasibility analysis, which would determine the extent of the project.
The feasibility analysis will provide details related to the cost, design and capacity of the amphitheater. City Councilman Kent O’Dell said having the real numbers, rather than the initial $52 million estimate, is important.
The analysis also would help the Council determine if the project is doable based on the projected revenue. City Councilman Brian Myers supports the renovation of the Krug Park Amphitheater and said the financial return would be significant.
City Councilman Russell Moore said approving the funds for the feasibility analysis would help discover those potential returns.
“All of the other parks that we have are family parks, that is true, so is Krug Park, but it’s also for entertainment,” Moore said. “It’s not strictly just for family. It’s time we start at least looking at the feasibility of expanding our horizons to take advantage of our assets.”
The $275,000 could also be used to pay ASM Global, a venue and event management company, for consulting services at an initial cost of $25,000 a month, although that contract hasn’t been executed by the city yet.
During discussions of the bill, the public mentioned the need for a citizen’s committee to involve St. Joseph residents in the decision. Kovac tried to delay the vote until after the citizen committee was formed, but no other council member seconded his motion.
Moore said the city should create the committee after the feasibility study is complete.
At the end, City Councilman Marty Novak said he would be sponsoring a resolution at the next meeting to make the mask mandate voluntary. He pointed to the low positivity rate and hospitalization numbers for his decision.
Other notable bills
driveway: The City Council unanimously approved $15,000 for the construction of a new driveway at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. Initially, these funds were to come out of the city’s gaming fund, but Myers made a motion to use CIP sidewalk funds for the project. This change was approved.