Tri States Public Radio Staff
Sat October 17, 2009
Keokuk Organization Seeks New Home
Keokuk, IA – The South Side Boat Club is considering a new home along Keokuk's riverfront.
The South Side Boat Club was located south of Lock and Dam 19. It is downriver from the George M. Verity Riverboat Museum and upriver from the city's wastewater treatment plant.
The 3,200 square foot building was inundated by flood water last summer. The structure was torn down after it was determined that it could not be repaired.
President Kathy Ferris says her organization would like to build a new 2,400 square foot facility a few hundred yards upstream. It would be located next to Hubinger Landing.
Ferris says the South Side Boat Club must elevate its property. She says the new location is higher, in terms of base elevation, than the former site which should reduce construction costs.
City leaders would like to see firm numbers before deciding whether to endorse the move. Keokuk owns the land where the South Side Boat Club previously stood and the Hubinger Landing site.
Ferris says the organization would also like the city to waive its lease payments and insurance requirements, given the fact that the building is gone. The city council is expected to consider those requests at its first meeting in November.
The future of the South Side Boat Club could also be determined by a yet-to-be-formed committee. Mayor Dave Gudgel says he will soon ask the Keokuk City Council to establish a riverfront improvement/enhancement committee.
The panel would review potential development projects to see how they line up with Keokuk's Vision Plan and Riverfront Improvement Plan. Gudgel says the South Side Boat Club and the former Depot should be two of the first projects the committee reviews.