Skip to content

Sports complex project at standstill

The Fredericktown City Council voted against approval of an intergovernmental agreement between Madison County and the City of Fredericktown to fund a sports complex on Monday.

Madison County Presiding Commissioners Bob Mooney, Second District Commissioner Larry Kemp and First District Commissioner Tom Stephens were present and signed the agreement but the city council then voted 3-2 against the agreement, preventing Mayor Kelly Korokis from entering the city into the agreement with the county.

Voting “no’ were Ward I Alderman Harold Thomas, Ward III Alderman Jim Miller and Ward III Alderman Loretta Brown. The two “yes” votes were Ward II Alderman Rick Polete and Ward II Alderman Deena Ward. Ward I Alderman Paul Brown was absent.

According to Mooney, the agreement would have allocated $1 million in TIF money to the project which would have carried it almost to phase II. The city would have been obligated to pay the remainder of the cost as well as maintain the fields after they were completed.  

Without the majority vote from the board, the agreement was voided.

The council then moved on by approving the purchase of annual street paint from the sole source provider and then heard a request from Alderman Ward.

Ward asked the rest of the board to consider starting an Explorer program by Fredericktown City Police and Fredericktown Fire Departments. She introduced Jared White and Becky Long to explain more about the program.

“Exploring is a career exploration program for 15 to 20 year-olds, ages 14 if they have finished the eighth grade,” Long said. “Basically this would be exploring fields of fire and police, so two separate exploring posts, and we would go into the schools to recruit the youth that were interested in those career fields. Then, they would get to go out into the field and have some hands-on experience with those departments.”

“Every kid isn’t going to go to college and this gives them the opportunity to explore these options and find interests,” White said. “That’s what we miss in today’s society. We think everyone should go to college, but we don’t have the ability to find out what we want to do and just be a part of it.”  

White assured the board, through the Boy Scouts of America, the program is covered under its insurance umbrella and the program is inclusive to boys and girls of all physical abilities including disabled youth.

“As far as the Explorer Program, my goal since I got in here to be chief has been to get into the schools, start the D.A.R.E. program, get them while they are young, make an impact while they are little and maybe it will last,” Fredericktown Police Chief Eric Hovis said. “This is another great avenue for that.”

Fredericktown Fire Chief John Clark said he knows nothing about it but knows the department is shorthanded and could use the help and would like to ask more questions about it.

“I think it’s worth the time to research it, and it has been around since 1964, so we have other cases to look at,” Ward said.

The board agreed it seemed like a good idea but would like to read the information was handed out and do more research before moving forward.

Next, Hovis approached the council with a concern about funding and requested ideas on how to find sources for an additional resource officer and a police/fire station.

Hovis said he has been in discussions with Fredericktown R-I Superintendent Brett Reutzel and they are looking for extra security and ways to fund it.

“I think that a tax would pass for police and fire,” Hovis said. “Some of the money we get could be used for another resource officer for the schools so that our officers don’t have to switch buildings and we would have an officer for every building. Except the alt (alternative learning) school which has a teacher to student ratio that doesn’t need one.”

Hovis said everybody needs something, and every department needs something, but he was not there begging for money. He was there to ask for advice and see what the council thinks.

“Our resource officers stand out in the snow, the cold, the wind, every morning and the last few weeks with all the stuff going on in the nation, it’s taking everyone longer to get through because Musgrove says everyone is rolling down their windows thanking them for their service thanking them for taking care of their babies,” Hovis said. “I think there is a lot of people that do love the fact that we have our officers in our schools. Brett and I had this conversation and I said I would present it to you guys because they don’t have any money and we don’t either to go put in another officer. So we looked at a tax to possibly fund the police and fire.”

Hovis added he thinks timing is everything when it comes to topics like this and he wasn’t sure if the meeting was the right time to ask the council for funding ideas.

The council then went into closed session for one personnel matter and one litigation matter.

Madison County First District Commissioner Tom Stephens, Second District Commissioner Larry Kemp, and Presiding Commissioner Bob Mooney sign an intergovernmental agreement in order to provide funding for the Sports Complex Monday night. The Fredericktown City Council then voted 3-2 against preventing Mayor Kelly Korokis from signing the agreement bringing the future of the project to a standstill.

Madison County First District Commissioner Tom Stephens, Second District Commissioner Larry Kemp, and Presiding Commissioner Bob Mooney sign an intergovernmental agreement in order to provide funding for the Sports Complex Monday night. The Fredericktown City Council then voted 3-2 against preventing Mayor Kelly Korokis from signing the agreement bringing the future of the project to a standstill.

Becky Long (left) and Jared White discuss the benefits of starting an Explorer program in Fredericktown's police and fire departments.

Becky Long (left) and Jared White discuss the benefits of starting an Explorer program in Fredericktown’s police and fire departments.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Daily Journal. She can be reached at 573-783-3366 or at vkemper@democratnewsonline.com

Leave a Comment