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City buying land to expand park

January 27th, 2016

News Coverage:
January 27, 2016 1:03 AM

City buying land to expand park

DAVE GONG | The Journal Gazette

The Fort Wayne City Council on Tuesday approved the purchase of two pieces of property adjacent to Kreager Park.

With one abstention, the council unanimously approved $187,500 to allow the Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department to buy 7811 and 7829 N. River Road. 

“We’ve bordered three sides of these two properties for several years. In 1995, we developed the park around (the properties),” said Steve McDaniel, the parks department’s deputy director of park maintenance.

“At the time those properties weren’t available, now they have come available and there was some interest.”

The department plans to turn the north two acres of the properties into a large soccer field, McDaniel said. The existing houses will be rented out in the short term and will eventually be demolished to make way for additional soccer fields.

There has been an increased demand on the parks department for soccer accommodations, to the point where the department has had to turn people away for lack of available fields.

The parks department will pay for the properties using $75,000 from its capital fund, and $112,500 from an endowment of funds left over from when the Kreager family donated a large amount of money to the parks department and Maumee Park was renamed Kreager Park. 

“We take a portion every year, a small portion, and we’ve been saving up for something like this,” McDaniel said.