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May 7, 2012

New park planned at Allison Lane and Middle Road in Jeffersonville

Cost pegged at $100k; city to do much of the work

JEFFERSONVILLE — A vacant lot at the corner of Allison Lane and Middle Road, where a shuttered gas station long stood, will become Jeffersonville’s newest city park.

The city issued a press release Monday announcing plans for the six-acre property. It will include a parking lot, a walking trail, a community garden and other green space. The land was purchased last year by the Jeffersonville Redevelopment Commission.

The gas station had been closed for decades. City Parks and Recreation Director Paul Northam estimated it closed sometime in the mid-1980s, though Mayor Mike Moore said it might have even been earlier than that.

In any case, the station and the underground storage tanks have since been removed. What remains there now is overgrown grass, trees and a large mound of dirt from a lake that was dug nearby.

The city started clearing the site Monday. The design phase of the project, which will be handled in-house by the city engineer’s office, will commence in the next few weeks and the park should be completed by fall.

“It’ll be an interesting property once it’s all cleared out,” Northam said.

City crews will be doing most of the work. The total cost is estimated at about $100,000, to be paid for with tax increment finance district revenue.

“This is an exciting project that is long overdue. It will have an immediate and positive impact on residents in the area,” Moore said in the release. “As I walked neighborhoods last year, people were eager for the city to clean up this vacant lot that’s been an eyesore for years.”

He indicated a parking lot would be built where the gas station formerly stood. A community garden located there would consist of small parcels of land — maybe 8 feet by 12 feet, Moore said — which residents could rent for about $40 for gardening space.

Moore said he liked the idea because it gets neighbors to take ownership of the park, as well as other benefits.

“You’re growing friendships and you’re growing vegetables,” Moore said.

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