City Asked to Sell Veterans Park to Center Township

Center Township Trustee Kevin Evans made a presentation to the Frankfort City Council Monday night regarding the possibility of the city selling Veterans Park to Center Township.

Photo by Erick Dircks

“First and foremost, it’s got to be there for our veterans,” said Mayor Chris McBarnes. “All the events, all the tributes we pay to them there cannot change. What I needed to hear tonight was that was going to be the case and it is. The trustee’s vision for additional recreational opportunities at Veterans Park I think is spot on with the downtown revitalization plan.”

City Councilmen Eric Woods and Steve Beardsley both asked Evans if Center Township would be willing to lease the park. Evans said if he did that it would become a double-tax which is illegal.

Evans said his plan for Veterans Park is to collaborate with local entities to develop an area that will attract individuals to downtown Frankfort, utilizing the City of Frankfort downtown revitalization plan. He added in the event they do not maintain or if the park is not used, it would revert back to the city with all the upgrades.

Evans added the park would be run by a three-person advisory board under the direction of the trustee and it would have its own parks and recreation budget. Some of the ideas he has for the park include an October Family Festival, an ice skating rink, an enhanced Farmer’s Market and recreational activities.

McBarnes said the key part of this discussion was making sure the property stays in the right hands.

“We need to make sure we’re protecting the city in the long term,” said McBarnes. “That’s a very importance piece of property. Should a different township trustee come in with a different plan, we need to make sure that space in our downtown remains in the city’s hands and benefit the downtown.”

Recently, the Utility Service Board unanimously approved a resolution that the city sell the park to Center Township. The cost would be $20,000 consisting of two $10,000 payments over two years.