CENTERBURG — During village council Monday, Centerburg Mayor Dave Beck reported on the meetings with Hilliar Township on potential solutions for the future of the park. He reported at the meeting it was suggested sharing ownership of the land 50/50, which would allow Centerburg to place a levy for funding the park on the ballots. It was asked, if there were a 50/50 split, who would be responsible for day-to-day maintenance; and there was also talk about creating a 501(c) fundraising “Friends of the Park” group.
Village Solicitor Kyle Stroh, when asked, stated that part-ownership of the park would be unorthodox at any percentage but possible; the primary concern, which Clerk Teri James agreed, would be passing the auditor’s test.
Stroh added that any decisions needed to be made soon as there was an August deadline to get any levy on the ballot; before a levy could be drafted there was more work to do with the township.
James added the levy would need to be for a specific amount, which would require a specific financial plan.
According to discussion at the meeting, the parks funding has mostly gone to maintenance but there were a number of areas which required capital investment. For example, the electric needs redone and, though some waterline had been replaced last year, there was still more that needed replaced.
More than that, they are currently in the process of building up records for the future as there is no documentation on what has been done to the park in the past. Figuring up what base maintenance of the park would cost is also underway.
Beck stated that preference should be placed on a 5-year levy rather than a permanent levy so that the village could better respond to the park’s changing needs over time.
In accordance with a recommendation from the Hilliar meetings, the council decided that Saturday, April 27, they will hold a public meeting for citizens to voice their opinions on what should be done with the park. The meeting will start at 10 a.m. and will be held at Town Hall.
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