AUGUSTA,Ga (WJBF) Augusta is willing to negotiate to keep Pendleton King Park open, but city leaders are not ready to say how far they’re willing to go.
“I can’t speak to that George, as I said I don’t want to jeopardize negotiations I think we’re at a good position now at least we’re communicating,” said City Administrator Janice Allen Jackson.
The park’s trustees communicated to the city some months ago, that it wanted changes in the deal proposing having the city spend more than one million dollars to buy the park or increase the lease from a dollar a year, to $85 thousand dollars a year.
“Why now why did this happen, why a significant change when we’ve been doing it a dollar a year, we put 135 thousand dollars a year of tax payer money every year into that park,” said Commissioner Sean Frantom.
Administrator Jackson says that’s a point the city is making in negotiations that Augusta has invested a lot in the park.
“We have a caretaker, out there we do most of the day to day maintenance so we’ve invested pretty significant funding into the park,” said Jackson.
The caretaker lives at the park as part of the city’s responsibility under the King family will.
“It’s a qualification that’s in the will, they have to keep somebody on the property 24-7 as security reasons I fit that bill,” said Park Caretaker Tommy Anglin.
The park’s future is up in the air now because the lease is running out trustees blame city leaders for dragging their feet.
“I don’t think that’s a fair characterization to be honest,” said Jackson.
Jackson will not say if the proposal going to commissioners will be for a bigger lease or an offer to buy the park she says she’s working on a proposal that can be a presented to the commission to see if it’s one they’re willing to accept, commission meets Tuesday Jackson doesn’t think the proposal will be ready by then.