MERRILLVILLE | The town is moving forward with plans to shed some park properties not heavily used.
Town Manager Bruce Spires said Merrillville has identified eight park properties which the town will attempt to sell. Hendricks Park is included in the list, he said.
The property on 80th Lane near Hendricks Street could attract the most attention because it is within a commercial area and it has visibility from U.S. 30, Merrillville Clerk-Treasurer Eugene Guernsey said.
Town Council President Carol Miano said a nearby day care facility has used the park, but the facility is not used much by residents.
"Neighborhoods change," Miano said, "Times have changed."
She said a portion of Stefek Park that isn't used also will be sold.
"We will still have a park but not all that land," Miano said.
The area of the park the town is keeping has been prepped to receive new equipment. Stefek is near the 70th Place and Harrison Street intersection.
Guernsey said any funds the town receives after selling park properties will go to Merrillville's Parks and Recreation Department.
Miano said those funds will be used to improve park facilities that regularly receive visitors.
During a Town Council workshop scheduled for Wednesday, town leaders are expected to discuss details of selling the properties.
Town Attorney John Bushemi said Merrillville has multiple options, including advertising for bids on the properties or selling them in an auction. The town will obtain cost estimates of having an auction to help councilmen determine the best option.
Besides generating funds for the parks department, selling unused properties would reduce the amount of time Merrillville spends maintaining parks.
"We will not have our Public Works Department (maintaining) property our town doesn't even use," Miano said.