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Quincy area parks district on ballot; recreation survey results reviewed

Staff Writer | October 19, 2023 4:53 PM

QUINCY — Quincy-area residents are being invited to a town hall meeting Nov. 1 to discuss the proposal to establish a regional parks district. The proposal is on the Nov. 7 ballot.

The money raised through the district would be used to build and operate a new indoor sports facility in Quincy, called the Q-Plex, and a new Quincy swimming pool.

If the regional parks district is formed, property owners would pay 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The parks district boundary would be the same as the Quincy School District, excluding the Douglas County portion and including the cities of Quincy and George.

The proposal will require a bare majority, 50% plus one vote, to pass.

If the proposal is approved, the Q-Plex will be a year-round facility with room for four 7-on-7 soccer fields, a walking path and indoor courts for basketball and pickleball. The new swimming pool, or Q-Aquatic, would be open in the summer and would include a pool and waterslide.

The Q-Plex is projected to cost about $20 million to $23 million, and the swimming pool about $7 million to $10 million.

Quincy city officials commissioned a survey of residents in the proposed park district to find out what they thought about the city’s park system in general, as well as their opinion on the fieldhouse and swimming pool projects. Ryan Hughes of Nexus Planning Services presented preliminary results to the Quincy City Council on Tuesday.

Hughes said the survey received 828 responses, about 81% of them Quincy residents and about 13% residents of the unincorporated areas of the proposed district. About 44.5% of the respondents said they were strongly in favor of the parks district proposal, and another 21% said they were mostly in favor of it.

About 72% of respondents said they’d be willing to pay something for the construction and maintenance of the new facilities. Based on the results, Hughes said he was optimistic the parks district proposal would pass.

Respondents were asked to rate possible facilities in order of importance to them, and a new aquatic center was rated as the highest priority. About 75% of respondents said it was important or very important. People also rated a community activity center and a splash pad as important, along with more gym space for basketball and pickleball, a walking trail from Lauzier Park to East Park, and a facility with indoor turf.

Additional outdoor basketball and pickleball courts, a baseball-softball complex and a skate park were rated as lower priorities.

Lauzier Park was the most visited, followed by East Park.

Cheryl Schweizer may be reached via email at