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City council this evening agreed to accept a donation of land from JAECO Properties, a company in which John M. Rightmyer is president, in exchange for the city’s administration obtaining an appraisal “suitable to them (the company) for tax purposes along with deed preparation.”

Of the seven parcels donated, the largest is 9.57 acres and is located next to Ledgerwood Field.

City Manager Joseph Scherer said in his report to council that acreage “could be used for additional recreational facilities such as ballfields or playground areas.”

The remaining acreage is small, the city manager said, but “would be advantageous to the public works department for such things as unrestricted access to city drainage ditches and Chockoyotte Creek, improving alley access or an equipment storage site. Almost all of the smaller parcels are considered to be not suitable for building any housing or similar structure.”

Scherer said the recreation advisory committee reviewed the parcel adjacent to Ledgerwood and unanimously voted to recommend acceptance of the 9.57 acres.

Parks and recreation Director John Simeon said following the council meeting, “We are very, very pleased to receive such a generous donation and look forward to the future opportunities it provides.”

Simeon said said he will be working with the advisory board in coordination with the department’s master plan for possible usage.

In a December letter from Rightmyer to Councilman Wayne Smith it is noted the 9.57 acres has a tax value of $34,500. Property at the end of Jackson Street is .09 acres and valued at $300; property at Madison Street next to the railway is .12 acres and valued at $300; a parcel at Fifth and Henry streets is .45 acres and valued at $400; a parcel east of Henry and north of Sixth is .96 acres and valued at $1,000; a parcel at Second and Charlotte streets is .77 acres and valued at $2,500 and a parcel at the corner of Ashland and Roanoke Avenue is .94 acres and valued at $600.

“All would be transferred in one gift deed prepared by (attorney) Brad Elliott which the city would pay for,” Rightmyer wrote. “The city would need to provide and pay for an appraisal, suitable to JAECO Properties Inc. for our tax purposes and have complete on or before June 30.”

In a memo from public works Director Larry Chalker, the property at Jackson Street contains a drainage ditch and adjoins city property containing the same ditch. “It would make sense for us to own this for continued unfettered access.”

The property on Madison Street is the last on a dead end alley. “The only advantage to owning this unbuildable lot would be to extend the termination of the alley across it, thereby making the alley serviceable once again.”

The property at Henry Street contains a large drainage ditch and would allow for unfettered access as would the property at Monroe Street and Charlotte and Second.

The property at Ashland is buildable but is one-third in the floodway and two-thirds in the floodplain. “The lot is buildable but with certain exceptions. An ideal use could be a neighborhood playground or a fenced, graveled lot for storage of surplus items/equipment. City possession would allow for access to Chockoyotte Creek.”