MUNSTER – A long block of green space will replace the older brick duplexes that line Manor Avenue from Ridge Road to Broadmoor Avenue.
The cost of developing that park will be helped by $104,680 in Community Development Block Grant funds recently authorized by the Munster Town Council.
CDBG funds are provided through the Lake County Economic Development Office and must be used for projects such as ADA poured-in-place surfaces and elimination of blight, said Clay Johnson, assistant town manager.
“No CDBG funds will be used for the acquisition or demolition of any residential properties,” Johnson said.
The funds will be used to establish a new playground and community garden, he said.
“We believe that this is a good utilization of these funds as they eliminate out-of-date housing stock, improve the aesthetics of the neighborhood, and provide a communitywide asset,” Johnson said.
The street of older brick duplexes and a few single-family homes is being acquired by the town and will be demolished to make way for the park to serve the northwest section of town, said Tom DeGiulio, Munster town manager and head of the Munster Parks Department.
“There is a lack of open space in that part of town. We’d like to put in a tot lot playground,” DeGiulio said. “It will be a nice tie in with the bike trail.”
Most of these units are rental property and the town officials have negotiated with the owners of 30 units, he said. Appraisals of the properties are now complete.
“(The units) will be demolished as they are acquired,” DeGiulio said.
New lighting will also be added to this area. Designs for the park are still being completed. Money for the entire project will come from park bonds.