Council rethinks riverfront development

The city council is taking a second look at the development plans along St. Joseph’s riverfront

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 11:20 PM
Updated: Jul 31, 2018 8:33 AM

(St.Joseph,MO) The city council is taking a second look at the development plans along St. Joseph’s riverfront. During a work session Monday night, the council sat down with private developers and representatives from SWT Design to finalize what will be evaluated during the riverfront study.

Previous studies have suggested building projects like a marina, an RV park and campground space, but this study will focus on the optimal location for each new development.

The project was originally estimated at $175,000 for a six month study, but Mayor Bill McMurray said the firm will be making adjustments to the overall plan.

“We want to have the people sharpen their pencils and come back with another approach here rather than get more public input, because we've had so much public input,” McMurray said. “Let’s go with what are the best places on the river for these projects. We will be taking out some of the stuff that has already been done and getting right to the engineering part.”

Dave Helsel wants to develop an 130 space RV park on his riverside property at 3520 Waterworks Rd,but said he will be waiting to see the final results of the study before starting construction.

“We really want to know what type of infrastructure is going to be down there for us,” Helsel said. “[We want to know] what type of support, if there are any anchors that they are looking at along the river that would be supportive in what we are doing.”

Helsel said they plan to start construction on the RV park as soon as there is information from SWT’s study becomes available.

“This study could be really important to what we do when going to an investor or a bank. We want to be smart about how we are investing our money,” Helsel said.

The boundaries of the project will stretch from south of Riverfront park to north of St. Joseph Frontier Casino.

“They are going to revise their study and we’ll [the council] take another look at it to see if we want to spent the money to have engineers tell us where is the best spot for a marina, where to put an RV park, things like that,” McMurray said.

The council will meet with SWT Design for another work session at a later time. Despite potential changes to the study, SWT Design still plans to unveil the final results of the riverfront study in January 2019.

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