Archived Story

City eyes purchase of storage facility for Russom Park

Published 8:58am Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The City of Dowagiac’s aspirations for the Russom Park athletic fields may receive yet another boost.

The Dowagiac City Council approved a resolution Monday authorizing the city’s share of a purchase of a storage facility located adjacent to the park entrance on Middle Crossing Road. The city will contribute half of the cost of the $109,000 asking price for the property, while Silver Creek Township will pay for the other half.

“The Russom Park Committee has been looking at this for a couple of years now,” said City Manager Kevin Anderson. “It had been in private ownership, and over the last couple years they weren’t able to work out an arrangement for purchase.”

However, the property has since been foreclosed, and the property’s current title owner, Chemical Bank, reached out to the city to ask if they were still interested in purchasing it, Anderson said. The city manager worked together with Silver Creek Township Supervisor Bill Saunders and the bank to work out the terms of the acquisition.

The storage facility would benefit the city’s and township’s plans for future development of the sporting areas at the park, Anderson said.

“It would allow us to not have to build storage on site for both soccer and baseball,” he said. “It’s in our master plan already to build those at some point in time when money was available, so we could use several of those units for that purpose.”

The property would also help shore up boundary lines for the park, especially along the northern border.

If the deal is approved, the city and the township will maintain joint ownership of the facility. Revenues generated from rental fees would be first used to reimburse the initial purchase of the facility. Funds that follow will be used for building and park maintenance.

The city is currently in talks with a third party that could potentially manage the storage facility for the two owners, Anderson said.

“I think it’s kind of an interesting purchase,” he said. “It gives us an opportunity to resolve storage problems in the future and also provide a cash flow to help with this along the way.”

Other business conducted by the council included:

• Approval of a set of resolutions levying special assessments against property owners in violation of city ordinances, totaling $9,389.

• Approval of a resolution rescheduling the council’s next meeting to May 27 due to Memorial Day on May 26.

• Approval a resolution establishing a public hearing on May 27 concerning the 2014-2015 budget.

• Approval of a resolution to amend the budget for the Cemetery Perpetual Care Fund, to provide approximately $25,000 worth of improvements at Riverside Cemetery.

• Approval of a resolution to provide $43,620 for future repair work on East Railroad Street, Depot Drive, Lester Street, High Street and Pennsylvania Avenue.

• Approval of a resolution to pay $647,836.75 for bills and payroll.


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