MERRILLVILLE | A piece of property some Merrillville officials have viewed as an eyesore is expected to be improved.
Town Councilwoman Carol Miano said Merrillville recently acquired the property in the 7200 block of Broadway.
The land once was used a lumber yard, Miano said. More recently, it has become a place that has attracted trash.
"People are dumping tires and all kind of debris back there," Miano said.
She said she tried for several years to get the former owner of the land to improve the quality of the site, but it didn't produce improvements.
"It's right in the middle of our town," Miano said of the property.
She recently discovered the land was listed on a tax sale.
Miano said the Lake County commissioners were instrumental in taking the land off of tax sale so Merrillville could obtain it to transform it into a park.
"It was an honor to be of service," Commissioner Gerry Scheub said.
Miano said the only cost to acquire the land was an attorney fee of $209.
She said the facility will be called Union Park to honor local unions.
Randy Palmateer, business manager for the Northwestern Indiana Building and Construction Trades Council, said he appreciates the council's decision to recognize local working families.
"It's great," he said, "We're excited."
Miano said the facility won't include playground equipment. Instead, it would be a place for reflection.
She said she will contact local unions to seek their participation in creating the facility.
Miano also will work to have equipment, such as benches, donated for the new park.
She said the property is a great location for a park because it is near a walking and biking trail in Merrillville.
Town officials plan to have a dedication and ground breaking ceremony for Union Park, but the date hasn't been decided, Miano said.