COLLEGE TOWNSHIP — Township staff likely will mow the grass and replace old, dilapidated playground equipment if enough residents are willing to hand over ownership of a neighborhood park.
Township Council voted Thursday night to allow staff to work with the township solicitor and investigate proceeding with a quit claim to transfer the park deed to the township.
The triangular Panorama Village open space sits in the middle of properties on South Atherton Street, Maple Lane, Panorama Drive and Villa Crest Drive, and those property owners attended an initial township discussion on the parks future July 19.
At that time, the residents worried that the townships consideration of taking over ownership and maintenance of the park would attract people from outside the neighborhood, increasing traffic and compromising safety.
I do not wish to have people wandering on my property or parking on my property, said resident Jean Slear. I believe the township would do a wonderful job maintaining the area.
Thursday, Slear pointed out her property, which borders a pedestrian access into the park. She said as long as the township doesnt bother (her) property, shes fine with its taking over the space.
According to the township, the inactive Panorama Village Improvement Association owns the space, and solicitor Louis Glantz has said anyone whose deed includes the park has a right to use it.
Engineer Kent Baker pointed out the space would not be marketed as a regional park, and said in a Sept. 13 letter to bordering residents that an address sign would be installed at the South Atherton driveway access for 911 purposes, similar to two other neighborhood spaces, Harris Acres Park and Glenn Park.
Baker showed photos Thursday of the three parks, with detailed views of Panorama, displaying a basketball court, skateboard ramp, and old playground equipment.
Theres a see-saw thats pretty dilapidated and a swing set thats pretty well shot as well, he said. If the township was to take over this park, we would maintain it and make sure its safe. We would do annual safety inspections and do repairs as necessary. The bad equipment would have to be removed.
The township has performed minimal maintenance in the past, and Councilman Dan Klees said hed feel more comfortable if the township also owns the space.
I would feel much better if we went through the process to acquire the property, he said. If (maintenance) is going to be an ongoing thing, Id rather we have the deed.
Neighbor Dan Kerstetter said hes lived by the park since 1975 and that the area children grew up playing in the park, away from the streets.
We would really like the township to take over the maintenance of that facility, he said.
Jessica VanderKolk can be reached at 235-3910. Follow her on Twitter @jVanReporter