Parks department will benefit from auction of properties

2013-10-12T19:30:00Z 2013-10-13T21:43:06Z Parks department will benefit from auction of propertiesChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com
October 12, 2013 7:30 pm  • 

MERRILLVILLE | It isn't yet certain how much money the town will generate through an auction of some parks properties, but any funding obtained will benefit the parks department, Clerk-Treasurer Eugene Guernsey said.

Planning continues for the auction, Town Manager Bruce Spires said. Merrillville leaders haven't yet set the date of the sale, but Spires expects a decision soon.

Hendricks Park, Barclay Village Park, Devonshire Park and a portion of Stefek Park are among properties that will be sold, according to the town.

Merrillville has received two appraisals for each parcel, and state law requires the town to sell the properties at no less than 90 percent of the average of the two appraised values, Guernsey said.

He thinks some of the properties up for sale are more attractive than others, and he is concerned some of the properties won't receive bids that reach 90 percent of the appraised values.

"We don't know what we're going to get out of that property," he said.

Guernsey said funding obtained through the auction will be "pumped back into" the parks department. Town leaders will assess the needs at the park facilities Merrillville isn't putting up for auction and make determinations regarding how they can be improved.

Merrillville Parks Superintendent Caryn Wilson said the department has enhanced several parks recently, including Pruzin Park.

"We still have other parks that need to be updated," Wilson said.

Wirtes Park, located at 5860 Roosevelt Place, is among facilities that could use upgrades, she said.

Wilson said she hasn't yet had discussions with the council regarding which parks would be targeted first, she said.

"There are a lot of parks that need attention," Wilson said.

Besides the funding the auction could provide for the parks department, the town looks to benefit from the sale because it would reduce the amount of park properties Merrillville would have to maintain. The land sold also would go back on the tax roll, Guernsey said.

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