posttrib
A-OK 
Weather Updates

Panel gives thumbs up to appraisal on potential park land

Updated: April 28, 2013 6:32AM



VALPARAISO — Officials on Tuesday signed off on a land appraisal and an official recommendation for 55 acres of farmland to become a south Porter County park.

The Land Acquisition Committee for the Porter County Parks Department voted Tuesday to have the county pursue the land at the southeast corner of Indiana 49 and County Road 550S.

The parks board is expected to vote on the issue at its April 4 meeting, then the parks department will take the matter to the Porter County Board of Commissioners and County Council.

Land Acquisition Committee members said the park will likely be a combination of athletic fields and walking trails, but it’s early to set plans.

“We need more public input,” Committee Chairwoman Rebecca Tomerlin.

She and other committee members included residents, the parks board, the commissioners and the council members for sources for ideas and desires.

The committee members wouldn’t discuss what the first appraisal put the cost of the land at, but they indicated it was below the $600,000 they planned to request of the council and commissioners.

A second appraisal should be completed before the parks board meeting.

The possible park is still in preliminary stages.

Committee member Jonathan Hildebrand said in his vote by email that he wants to buy the land but wants to know the plan.

Tomerlin said, “We know we want to acquire the land. We don’t have a timeline for development.”

The parks department will likely develop it in phases so people can use it sooner rather than later, she said.

The property is next to a historical site, too.

The Tassinong Grove trading post was there in 1874, committee member Craig Kenworthy said.

The Land Acquisition Committee plans to meet again on April 9. The meeting will be at 6 p.m. at the County Administration Building in Valparaiso.



© 2014 Sun-Times Media, LLC. All rights reserved. This material may not be copied or distributed without permission. For more information about reprints and permissions, visit www.suntimesreprints.com. To order a reprint of this article, click here.