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County Officials not ready to give up Bronson Park

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Bronson Park is owned by the County but leased to the City, which pays to maintain it and decorate it every Christmas.
Bronson Park is owned by the County but leased to the City, which pays to maintain it and decorate it every Christmas.

KALAMAZOO (WKZO) -- Kalamazoo County is willing to extend their lease on Bronson Park to the city for another year, but they may need some convincing to transfer ownership to the City.

Kalamazoo City Atty Clyde Robinson says it would make it easier to raise money for park improvements if they weren’t just the tenant.

But there is a lot of history and County Board Chair David Maturen says they want to learn more about the pros and cons and think about it first.

The land was originally the site of the County Jail and a County academy and only became a park later. The original document securing the land has Titus Bronson’s name on it.

The County Board is expected to extend the lease another year to give them time to mull it over.

If they do hand it over, County Attorney Thom Canny says he would recommend that they include a reverter clause on the contract that states if the city ever attempts to turn the park into something else or abandons it, the land would revert to county ownership.

There is a similar rider on the Kalamazoo/Battle Creek International Airport, which used to be owned by the city. If the county ever shuts down the airport, the land will revert to city ownership.

 

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