Archive for Thursday, February 10, 2005

City signs papers for park

February 10, 2005

The city and an area developer have completed a contract for a 128-acre piece of land that's targeted to be the city's newest park.

City Administrator Mike Smith said the contract had been signed; now all that awaits transfer to the city is a March 16 closing.

The city has been in negotiations with attorneys for developer Dan Sedlak for the 128 acres of land about a mile west of the city on 4-H Road. The sale price is $620,000.

"One hundred and twenty-eight acres," Smith said several months ago, "is going to fit our needs for a long time to come."

Serving the city's needs, he said, could include a sports complex on the land being purchased. A task force appointed by Mayor Kenneth Bernard in December is in the process of soliciting bids from land planners interested in helping develop a master plan for the new park.

Once the bids are in, the task force is expected to make a recommendation to the Lansing City Council.

If hired, the planner would conduct a survey of residents about what they would like to see in the new park, be it more athletic fields, picnic areas, natural areas, an aquatic facility or something else; gauge their willingness to support those amenities with tax dollars; and develop a conceptual plan for the park.

Lansing currently has five recognized parks: City Park, Willow Park, Lost 80 Park, Highland Playground and the new Kelly Grove Park. Together, they account for about 76 acres of land.

With both flat areas and hilly terrain, the 128 acres would be suitable for several needs, including a sports complex with baseball, soccer and football fields, an aquatic center and perhaps a city lake, Smith said.

Smith estimated it could be two to three years before the park is ready for play.

"Some people, I'm sure, would like to see that quicker, but we've got some groundwork to do first," he said.

The land is currently outside the city limits and would need to annexed. In addition, water and sewer lines would have to be extended to the site.

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