StAllio! posts on Indianapolis Mayor Ballard’s proposal to sell off the city’s “pocket parks.” Apparently Ballard has hired a firm to analyze potential sales where the firm doesn’t get paid unless some of the parks are sold. As stAllio! points out, far from being a good deal for the city, this creates an enormous incentive for the firm to try to get as many of the parks sold as possible and, accordingly, renders suspect any analysis from the firm.
Oh crap! Our neighborhood’s pocket park is listed on Indygov’s website as 1.6 acres. Neighbors have poured a lot of time, effort, and money into this park in the last few years, it would really suck for it to be sold out from under us. Thanks for the heads up – I had completely missed this one.
Brenda, your community should buy it from the city. You get the benefit and are already taking care of it.
I disagree that there is any conflict of interest in a private company foregoing compensation in return for first right to sell the lots if they become available for sale.
In many neighborhoods in NW Indiana, we have pocket parks with overgrown grass and kids smoking after school (lake county of course)
I believe discussion of a purchase will be the first order of business at tonight’s neighborhood association meeting. However, since the first our Neighborhood Association Board heard of it was the article in the Sunday Star, we are not yet even sure if we will have the option of doing that.
The lot was donated by a neighbor to the City back in 1970 with the understanding that it would be always be a community park. It would really be a slap in the face if the community didn’t have enough money to buy it back from the City (if that is indeed an option) and it went to a higher bidding developer instead. I’m assuming we also have someone looking into the legality of the City selling it at all.
Since 2006, the neighborhood has raised $30,000 that we have poured into the pocket park. A chunk of that was a central sundial installation – a memorial to Officer William Whitfield, the first black police officer to die in the line of duty in Indianapolis. Officer Whitfield was shot and killed while on a run to our neighborhood in 1922.
Volunteers from the neighborhood do all the planting, mowing, weeding, etc. We supply and maintain the trash bins around the park and just last month installed three park benches – again, with our own funds. I’m having difficulty understanding what extravagant “cost” the City is responsible for (?) that they need this park off its books.
The park has really proven itself as a meeting point for our very diverse community. Just a couple of weeks ago, we had over a hundred people at our pitch-in dinner for National Night Out.
Brenda – you mention
Have you seen a copy of the deed? Perhaps there’s a reversion stipulation that would cause the property ownership to be returned to the original family if it ceased to be a park.
Hmm… I’ll ask. I doubt our neighborhood association (which was founded in 2003) has a copy of the deed but I assume it has to be on file with the City.
Try the county recorder’s office.
Thomas Kemp says
IC 32-17-10-2 likely would defeat any reversion clauses in a deed from the 70’s – it limits rights of reversion to 30 years . . . .