purchase to double park size
By Kevin Kelley
Published June 3, 2009
size of Nelson Russ Park will more than double once the city completes
the purchase of 2.3 acres from three property owners for $64,000.
Ordinances authorizing the purchase of partial lots
from three West 220th Street property owners had their second readings
at Monday evening’s City Council meeting.
According to the ordinances, 61, 671 square feet will
be purchased from Stephanie O. Duran for $37,000. The city will
purchase 40,950 square feet from Joseph J. Schork for $25,000. St.
Mary Magdalene Church will sell 10,544 square feet to the city for
Money for the land will come from the city’s recreation
The negotiations for the properties were fairly straightforward,
according to Recreation Director Tim Pinchek. The prices paid were
based on fair market value as determined by valuations listed on
the county auditor’s Web site.
One of the landowners initiated the discussions after
the city demolished the former recreation department building at
the park last year, Pinchek said.
The land added to the park through the purchases will
be used for soccer and football fields, Pinchek said.
“This will give Fairview Park a dedicated soccer-football
complex that it never had before,” Pinchek told West Life.
Jack Abbruzzese, the recreation department’s youth
program coordinator, said that the city has had a longstanding need
for more soccer fields.
“It’s getting really congested over at Bohlken Park
with the baseball and softball leagues,” Abbruzzese said.
One full-size high school soccer field and three or
four youth-size football or soccer fields can fit on the 2.3 acres
the city is purchasing, Pinchek said.
Pinchek said the expansion of Nelson Russ Park is
a great opportunity for the city.
“It’s not often that you can double the size of a
park in a city,” the recreation director said.
Pinchek said he expects the new soccer fields will
be in use by the fall of 2010. Once the sale is completed, some
preliminary work on the land should begin before the end of this
summer, he added.
The city will fence in the newly acquired park land,
Pinchek said. There are no plans to add any bleachers or lights
to the planned soccer fields, he added.
Until the Gemini Center opened in January 2008, the
city’s recreation department was headquartered at Russ Park in the
former service garage of Parkview Village, the community that was
annexed into Fairview Park in 1967. That building was demolished
in the spring. Safety Town was also relocated from Russ Park to
the northeast corner outside the Gemini Center this year.
Pinchek said the city would eventually like to add
a playground at Russ Park near the location of the now-demolished
Nelson Russ Park, currently two acres in size and
accessible off Macbeth Avenue, is named after one of the city’s
first recreation directors, Pinchek said.
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