Delaware City Council approved an ordinance authorizing City Manager Tom Homan to execute a contract to purchase the property located at 1270 state Route 37 (West Central Avenue) during Monday’s meeting.
The property, which is located directly across from Fire Station 303 and is currently owned by Garry and Sandra Shores, is set to be purchased by the city for $240,000. Funds for the purchase will be drawn from the city’s park impact fee fund.
Delaware Finance Director Justin Nahvi said during Monday’s meeting the city desires to purchase the approximately 0.66-acre property and demolish the existing home in order to create an entrance to a park and trail system throughout the Delaware Run. Nahvi said demolishing the home is expected to cost the city an additional $25,000, bringing the total allocations for the project to $265,000.
Purchasing the property will also allow for buffering to the future extension of Valleyside Drive to state Route 37.
Speaking on how the purchase evolved, Homan said the city was notified last year by the current homeowners, who have lived on the property since the early 1990s, that they intended to relocate and the property was for sale.
“They knew that we had previously purchased, several years ago, the two condominiums located to the east (of the Shores property) … (Director of Public Works) Bill (Ferrigno) and I were talking about it in terms of making this a protected purchase for the city for the Valleyside Drive project someday. That evolved into more conversations about the importance that project will play, not only as a buffering project for the roadway eventually, but also for more public access back to the property the city has owned for over 25 years and that we have limited access to.”
Homan added, “The ultimate plan is to do a green belt along the Delaware Run but start small. We have to get people safely across Central Avenue. This will allow that to occur, together with the pedestrian lights that were just recently put up.”
Parks and Natural Resources Director Ted Miller, referencing plans dating back to 2003, said the vision for the property and its association with Delaware Run trails is “not a new concept for the City of Delaware.”
“Overall, the Delaware Run is a valuable green corridor that can really connect a lot east and west across Delaware, so it is something that is definitely on the radar that we really want to move along with. But it’s not something we can do overnight. It’s several years of acquiring small pieces like this (property),” Miller said.
Ferrigno called the purchase of the property “a classic win-win for the city” and said he’s “really excited to finally get another trailhead started on this system.”
Homan went on to say the city also owns “a considerable amount of property” west of the land it already owns south of the Shores property. Homan said there are some “intervening properties” the city still needs to work with, but the ultimate goal is to be able to get from Houk Road to downtown Delaware “without having to deal with any traffic” through an “uninterrupted way of enjoying a really nice part of our community.”
“This is a really nice way to start,” Homan said.
Reach Dillon Davis at 740-413-0904. Follow him on Twitter @DillonDavis56.