City of Centerville wants to buy private property for park

Centerville to buy private property for park

The City of Centerville is working to build a new park in the heart of the community, but it could cost one woman a lot more than just her front yard.

An amphitheatre, a splash pad, and walking trails could soon be in one central location for people in Centerville to enjoy.

The city plans to put a park off Houston Lake Boulevard.

But the family of 80-year-old Ann Mason aren't pleased.

"It's really a joke," Karen Higdon said. "When you come into town, there's a big sign - 'Welcome to the city of Centerville, city of ethics.' I don't find this ethical at all."

Karen Higdon, Mason's niece, says the city wants to buy her aunt's 6.9-acre property that backs up to a neighborhood off Greentree Trail.

"She's had two contracts on the land over the last couple of years, of which the lawyer said, "I think the terminology was, 'failure of support by the city,'" Higdon said.

Higdon says her aunt was offered more than $1 million for a developer to build apartments on the land, but she says the sale fell through because the city was opposed, and they're now wanting to buy the site.

"They want to offer less than tax value," Higdon said. "So that's, you know, around $70,000, something like that, which is really just not fair."

Centerville's Director of Economic Development and Marketing, Kate Hogan, says the city owns 8 acres for the park, but they're also hoping to acquire Mason's land.

The City Attorney would not speak to our reporter regarding the 6 acres and the condemnation of that property, but Hogan says there are pending legal negotiations, trying to work to a price both parties can agree on.

"We've gotten an appraisal, she's gotten an appraisal, and so we're really just looking at how to move forward and the legal way is going to be the easiest way," Hogan said.

The Centerville City Council is scheduled to meet Tuesday night at 7 p.m. to hold a hearing on whether to condemn the property.

Hogan says they hope to start work on the park in the next 3 years.

© 2017 WMAZ-TV


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