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Parks and recreation, big topic during council meeting

Several items on the work session agenda prompted the Fredericktown City Council to discuss additional ideas for use of the sports complex. 

There was a proposal for a Fredericktown Disc Golf Course to be created in the wooded area behind the new ball fields. 

“Disc golf is a growing sport,” Mayor Travis Parker said. “It has been made popular by, believe it or not, YouTubers on the internet. They really helped the sport propel. Popularity was also driven by the fact that it does not cost a whole lot of money to get started.”

Graham Punches and Al Kennon approached the city with the proposal. The packet of information provided is for an 18-hole layout with concrete tee-pads, signage, beautiful fairways and walking paths. The estimated cost is $20,000 to $25,000 and the proposal says sponsors could help ease the financial burden. 

“They are looking at an 18-hole, championship level, frisbee golf course located in the wooded section out behind the sports complex,” Parker said. “There are parking lots over there and plenty of space. It would go out towards City Lake and then make a loop back around.”

Parker said, he was told there are two or three courses in the area that are considered qualifier courses for bigger tournaments. He went on to say these qualifier rounds are said to bring out close to 200 players, per course and within a few years it would be possible for Fredericktown to be added as a fourth location. 

“At the end of the day, if you have people who are traveling to come and play, it’s businesses that are getting sales for restaurants and stuff like that,” Parker said. 

Alderman Rick Polete brought up the topic of maintaining the courses and asked City Administrator James Settle his thoughts on the idea.

Settle said, there is no doubt it is a growing sport and he thinks it would be a good spot for one. He then added that grass would be the easiest to maintain and he does not think it would be too difficult to keep up with.

Polete added, it would be nice to have the area available to the community as both a disc golf course and a wooded walking trail.

The general consensus of the council was in favor of the idea and Parker said he would move forward with gathering more details.

Next, the council was visited by several Fredericktown Optimist Club members who are looking to move Fredericktown Optimist Soccer from Rotary Park to the sports complex.

We don’t feel like we can get flooded out again,” Connie Matthews said. “We are done. We just can’t keep doing this.”

Matthews said, by moving the fields to the sports complex, kids would be safer, the fields would not be in a flood zone, fields could be made regulation size, and the city would be able to make revenue from the concession stand. 

“We know what it is going to cost to get new goals and get them set up,” Matthews said. “I’ve been doing this for 29 years. I think Larry (Kemp) has too. I think Donal (Firebaugh) has too. We’ve brought soccer from nothing into exceeding softball and baseball. We know that there is a need for it. These are kids, they might not get to play in high school or junior high sports. This might be the only sport that they get to participate in competitively, and we don’t want to lose that.”

In a proposal to the council, the cost to replace the goals, which were damaged during flood several weeks ago, is around $14,000. This is for regulation size goals and includes netting. 

“We are ready for a change,” Matthews said. “We know we can’t just keep getting flooded out.”

The council agreed that moving the fields would be beneficial to the community but noted concerns with the TIFF agreement. Without a copy of the agreement on hand the council was unable to verify whether or not the complex is allowed to house a soccer field in place of a baseball or softball field. 

A motion was made to allow the Fredericktown Optimist Soccer Club to move to the sports complex, pending a review of the TIFF agreement. 

As the city parks continue to gain traction, the need for an active parks board is becoming more necessary. Parker said, the board has not met in quite some time and all the individuals are up for renomination.

“We are going to have to renominate some people, just making everyone aware,” Parker said. “I have several people who are interested. I think our biggest issue in the past was people just wouldn’t show up or couldn’t show up.”

Parker said, he spoke with the past president and she said they were having struggles having a quorum. He said, during the next meeting or two he plans to nominate some individuals so the parks board can get up and operational once again.

In other business, the council approved a request to hold Freakytown, Oct. 29 and approved a picnic license for St. Michael Church for Oct. 2.

The council approved six purchase requests, $39,427.51 in total, all due to lightening hitting city hall and the police station.

During regular session business, the council passed an ordinance establishing the tax rate of .8721, per $100 assessed valuation, with .7432 going into general fund and .1289 going into the park fund.

The council also passed an ordinance increasing the purchasing power of the city administrator from $1,500 to $2,500. 

A resolution was passed declaring surplus equipment. Among the equipment up for sale or scrap is a 1981 US Army Forklift, 1991 Ford F800 Digger Truck, 1990 GMC Trash Truck and many other items listed as worn out, junk, flooded, scrap, doesn’t operate, etc.

The council voted to cancel the Sept. 12 meeting due to Deputy Clerk Theresa Harbison and Assistant Deputy Clerk Ashley Baudendistal being away at the annual clerk conference.

The next scheduled meeting of the Fredericktown City Council will be Sept. 26 immediately following the 5:30 p.m. work session at city hall.

Connie Matthews addresses the Fredericktown City Council, Aug. 22, with a request to move the Fredericktown Optimist Club Soccer Club from Rotary Park to the sports complex.

Connie Matthews addresses the Fredericktown City Council, Aug. 22, with a request to move the Fredericktown Optimist Club Soccer Club from Rotary Park to the sports complex.

Victoria Kemper is a reporter for the Democrat News. She can be reached at

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