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It's Official: Council Gives Final Approval to Purchase Property to Expand Bridgeport Recreation Complex

By Jeff Toquinto on December 18, 2017
Connect Bridgeport

With no fanfare or comments, Bridgeport City Council approved on second reading an ordinance that will for the acquisition of roughly 24 acres from Ann’s Run Limited Liability Company. The acreage will be part of the existing Bridgeport Recreation Complex that features existing outdoor facilities and will soon feature an indoor complex and more outdoor amenities.

The ordinance was the only item on the agenda tonight for Council. Action on the item took five minutes, including the reading of the ordinance and the vote, which was unanimous.

The city will pay $4 million for the land. However, Mayor Andy Lang pointed out after the meeting that Ann’s Run Limited Liability (Genesis Partners) have also donated land as part of property exchanges that will actually bump the total amount of land received to 58 acres

“That brings us to 125 acres total,” said Lang, referring to the total amount of land at the complex.

The $4 million will come from the 1 percent sales tax in the city limits that went into place July 1 of 2016. The same 1 percent sales tax will fund up to a $35 million complex on all the new land available as well as future operation and maintenance.

Lang said he believes ground will be broken in 2018. The facility’s timeline to be open, he said, is 2020. As for what all will be included in the indoor site and on the new acreage that is up for final discussion tonight, city officials have said that has not yet been officially finalized.

Whatever the finished product takes, Bridgeport will look to further enhance the city becoming a sports destination. The outdoor complex, with its multiple baseball and softball fields, hosts thousands of competitors and visitors each year from within this state and many outlying states. The visitors stay in area hotels and utilize city services as well as services throughout the region. The hope is the same carryover will take place with the indoor complex, which could be utilized by locals and outsiders.

While that matter only took five minutes, the next 15 minutes was spent by each member of Council, as well as City Manager Kim Haws, offering holiday thoughts to their colleagues and the city. Special praise was mentioned to the Bridgeport Parks and Recreation staff by Council member Dustin Vincent for their efforts with the Wreaths Across America program held Saturday at the Bridgeport Cemetery.

This evening’s meeting was held a week early. The time was moved up as the originally scheduled meeting would have fallen on Christmas day, Monday, Dec. 25. The next Council meeting is set for Jan. 8.