By Ethan Colbert
Inspired by the success of park boards in Bowling Green and in Hannibal, the Frankford City Council is eyeing an ordinance that would create a park board in the small northern Pike County community.
The four-person board is expected to vote next month as to whether or not to approve an ordinance creating the citizen-led advisory board.
“Different towns have done this different ways, but predominately what happens is that towns will form a committee of people,” Frankford Mayor John Schindler said. The committee members would all be appointed by the mayor and would have to be approved by the members of the Frankford Council.
The other option, Schindler said, was to ask voters in Frankford to approve some form of a park tax and to create a board to oversee the collection and use of the tax money.
From his perspective, Schindler said he and the city’s attorney agree that the first option of forming a park board through an ordinance is more practical and less complicated.
“This can be extremely complicated, depending on how you want to make it,” Schindler said. “The easiest solution is to have an appointed board of advisors.”
While the exact language of the ordinance allowing for the creation of the Park Board is not yet crafted, city officials said during last week’s meeting of the Frankford City Council ,that the group would be responsible for adhering to Missouri’s Open Records Law, also known as Sunshine Law.
“They would have their own president and vice-president,” Schindler said. “They would have to take minutes and to have official meetings and stuff.”
City officials also said that as the park board would be designated as an advisory group. The possible five-member or nine-member board would not be able to spend city money without approval from the city’s elected council.
The ordinance would also require the city to establish a bank account that would be strictly used for the betterment of the city’s park. Any money raised by the park board would go into that account, according to Schindler.
The City of Frankford currently has one park, located near the downtown area. The park is regularly used as the venue for community events, such as Park Day, community concerts, and movies in the park.
In related news, members of the Frankford City Council said that pending the passage of the Park Board Ordinance that they would grant the citizen-led advisory committee authority to plan the city’s bicentennial celebration.
Frankford, which is the third oldest city in Pike County, will celebrate its bicentennial later this year with a two-day festival over the Labor Day holiday weekend. The festival is slated to include a street fair, which will have carnival rides, live music, craft and food vendors, a photo exhibition, an antique tractor show, a vintage car show, and dozens of other events.
The city was officially founded by its founder, Solomon Fisher, in January 1819.