County agrees to land purchase

St. Joseph County officials last week agreed to pursue a state grant for acquisition of a 54-acre parcel to be managed by the parks and recreation department.
Following a public hearing during Tuesday’s commission meeting, the board passed a resolution in support of securing the property in the 60000 block of U.S. 131. Referred to as “the Kettles property,” the land is on the east side of U.S. 131, just south of Gleason Road. It includes about 3,500 feet of frontage along the St. Joseph River.
The county finds itself in an unusually fortunate position, as one of three siblings who own equal portions of the parcel wishes to donate her share to the county. The other two siblings, however, do not but are interested in selling their collective two-thirds.
Parks and recreation director Jaymes MacDonald said the county would meet the DNR-required match with the donated one-third piece.
The appraised value of the 54 acres is $225,000.

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