City of Westfield purchases land for $770K

CIW COM 0207 land purchase
The city of Westfield purchased land at 2510 E. 17Ist St. during an auction held at the Prairie Waters Event Center. (Map source: Hamilton County GIS)

The City of Westfield purchased three parcels of land last month totaling a little more than 25 acres at an auction for $770,000.

The land, at 2510 E. 171st St., was purchased Jan. 26 at the Prairie Waters Event Center in Westfield during an auction held by Pendleton-based Don Smock Auction Co., Inc.. The Westfield City Council had approved a resolution authorizing Westfield Chief of Staff Jeremy Lollar to pursue the purchase of the land three days prior to the auction.

Lollar told the council during its meeting that the city wanted to purchase the land for an amount not to exceed the average of two appraisals. Details of the appraisals were not immediately available by deadline, but Lollar said the purchase would give the city the opportunity to extend Oak Road north from 171st Street up to Ind. 32.

Lollar added that the city plans to begin construction of an expansion tied to Simon Moon Park and said that if the land were acquired, one of the parcels could be used for park green space with trails and native plantings. In addition, he noted that although the area was in a floodplain, the land could potentially be used for disc golf and other activities, while developing a trail nearby was another possibility.

Westfield City Councilwoman Cindy Spoljaric asked Lollar during the council’s Jan. 23 meeting where the funding would come from for the purchase. Lollar said the funding could come from a portion of funding tied to the repayment of a $6 million loan made in 2014 for Grand Park or by using impact fees, such as those earmarked for roads or parks.

City officials approved a resolution last year stipulating that $3 million would be repaid by Jan. 1, with the remainder being paid on or before Dec. 1 of this year. The city is looking at possibly selling Grand Park or entering a public-private partnership to operate it.

The 400-acre sports complex, which serves as the training camp for the Indianapolis Colts, has 31 soccer fields, 26 baseball diamonds, two administration buildings, seven concession stands and a 378,000-square-foot multi-use event center.

Seven entities submitted proposals that are under consideration for the complex, which is currently owned by the Westfield Redevelopment Commission. A six-member panel will eventually make a recommendation to the Westfield City Council and the Westfield Redevelopment Commission regarding the proposals.

Westfield City Councilman Scott Willis, who is running for mayor, was among the councilmen who supported the land acquisition by the city, saying he thought it would benefit Westfield in the long-term and help tackle ongoing congestion along Ind. 32.