Milton Adding Land to Bell Memorial Park
The purchase of 10 acres of property will effectively double the usable park space at the city's only active park.
Milton City Council approved spending $960,000 for a little bit more than 10 acres of property that will effectively double the amount of usable parkland at Bell Memorial Park.
Appraisals on the parcels owned by two different couples reduced the amount City Council had budgeted to spend on the properties by more than $42,000.
As City Council approved the land purchases at a rare Wednesday night meeting, (Labor Day forced the move from Monday), Interim Parks and Recreation Director Jim Cregge sat silently cheering. Cregge is very familiar with the park, having been a board member for the Hopewell Youth Association, which runs its baseball.
Bell Memorial Park is Milton's only active park, said City Manager Chris Lagerbloom. He advocated approving the purchases from Larry and Susan T. Hopkins, and Michael and Sheryl Bell Wilson.
Mayor Joe Lockwood said he had spoke to a few residents, and all of City Council had received email from people concerned about the city's purchase plans. These residents were "also under the impression we were overpaying what the value of these properties are."
Lockwood said the city used current appraisals and market evaluations to arrive at the purchase prices. Some people mix those up with an assessed value. The property purchase prices were very close if not below the professional appraisals, he said.
And the number one thing Milton community surveys have said, according to Lockwood, is that "our citizens want more parks."