Grand Traverse Co. Parks & Rec. Decides Not To Sell Property To Help Pay County Debt

Grand Traverse County was hoping to sell a piece of property to help pay off debt but not anymore.

The property off of Keystone and Brimley Road near the soccer fields is under the county’s parks and recreation department.

They agreed to sell it back in the fall, but now want to keep it.

9&10’s Megan Woods has more details on why they had a change of heart.

“It’s just a time where they’re looking at absolutely any way to reduce pension debt.”

The county came up with selling several underused properties in order to help pay off their $60 million debt.

Deputy county administrator Jennifer DeHaan says, “We were looking at the Whitewater Township property which is the one the board just sold to Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy last week for $255,000 so that will help with the pension debt, but we’ve got a long ways to go.”

Another property they were looking to sell is under parks and recreation.

The park board approved a resolution to sell it, but as bids came in, it seemed like it wasn’t worth it.

Director of Grand Traverse County Parks and Recreation, Kristine Erickson says, “The parks and recreation commission was hoping it would fetch a million dollars or there about. And that sounds to them a lot to them that would certainly help but now they’re weighing a $300,000 or $360,000 offer against potential use in the future for recreation.”

So at the park board’s last meeting they decided to rescind that resolution, hoping a recreational group will step up and develop it and the county can look for other options.

DeHaan says, “With the parks board’s recent action we will have to take that property off the market and we will have to look for other opportunities to generate the funds necessary to pay the county’s debt.”

Erickson says, “The entire county board is looking at reducing pension debt, there’s no doubt about that and all of us staff and commissioners we want to support that. The parks board certainly wants to support that they just feel like it could be done in a different fashion.”

It’s up to county commissioners if they want to override the parks board at their next meeting.

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