Land sold to fund park upgrades in West Jeff

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(Posted March 5, 2020)

By Josephine Birdsell, Staff Writer

West Jefferson village council approved the sale of a 26.58-acre plot to The Richard J. Conie Co. for $470,000.

The company plans to build homes on the property, located at 263 W. Pearl St., along State Route 142. The village plans to use the money to update parks.

“We have three parks in the village and they need some much added help (and) TLC,” said Mayor Ray Martin.

The main focus is transformation of Garrette Park into an “all-inclusive park,” featuring play equipment accessible to children of all abilities. The estimated cost of the project is $496,000.

The village has applied for outside funding for the Garrette Park improvements. Battelle has already provided $25,000 in grant money. The village also hopes to land a $200,000 state capital grant, along with a number of smaller grants.

Council’s plan is to use proceeds from the property sale to cover any costs not covered by grant funding. Additional money from the sale will go toward updating other West Jefferson parks with walking trails and new recreational equipment.

The village originally bought the Pearl Street plot for $174,000 and has been renting it to farmers.

The village makes “a couple thousand dollars” off the rented land yearly, Martin said. Its sale marks a significant increase in funds for parks and recreation.

Council took a holistic approach to the sale, considering both bidding price and The Richard J. Conie Co.’s plans for development, Martin said.

“We have done our due diligence. This is the best price we could get for the product they’re going to build,” he said.

The next regular meeting of West Jefferson village council is set for 7 p.m. March 16 in council chambers, located on the second story of town hall at 28 E. Main St. For information about various village departments and services, go to www.westjeffersonohio.gov/.

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