Potential developers of Krug Park now have initial approval from the city.
The City Council on Monday voted to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Krug Park Development, LLC to explore the possibility of redeveloping the historic park. It passed with eight votes — council member Pat Jones was absent.
The MOU signed by the council Monday simply says the idea has support from the city, giving developers a chance to proposition potential investors of the project.
As part of the memorandum, developers must create a detailed business plan and concept proposal at their own expense. Any further discussion of concepts or plans will be done through the City Council and with public input.
Monday’s council meeting held nearly 90 residents who had the opportunity to express their interest in Krug Park’s possible redevelopment.
Many of those who spoke up, most of whom were neighbors of Krug Park, were highly in favor of the developer’s plan, not only for the economic boost it could bring to the area, but as a chance to rejuvenate a park that is vital to St. Joseph’s history.
“Krug Park is unique and different,” said Joe Houts, resident. “Not every city this size has an opportunity like this knocking on their door.”
Two women, both members of Friends of Krug Park, expressed concerns about the lack of clarity in the developer’s plans and asked the council to wait until more details were presented. They specifically addressed concerns about alcohol in the park, which was prohibited in the deed from Henry Krug Sr.
Mr. Reeves said while many details of the plan are not yet known, there would be strict rules regarding alcohol during events. The park would not allow open containers on other occasions.
Any other concerns regarding noise control, parking and traffic flow would be discussed as more detailed plans develop. There is even a possibility of leaving the current amphitheater intact and developing a new venue in the northwest corner of the park, Mr. Reeves said, adding that all of those are details dependent on the signing of the MOU, as well as investor support.
Members of the City Council expressed their full support in the plan, and said public input would be asked for throughout the entire process, and that the integrity of Krug Park would remain intact.
The next council meeting, regularly scheduled for Dec. 24, has been canceled due to the Christmas holiday. The council will meet again on Jan. 7, 2013.