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Kirby Park could be up for grabs

By Ariana Garza, agarza@ktxs.com
Published On: Feb 13 2013 07:21:51 AM CST
ABILENE, Texas -

The city of Abilene has received an offer for Kirby Park and is contemplating whether to sell.

The park was built in the 1940s and was a popular, family-friendly hangout in the 1960s. But according to the city’s 2007 Parks Master Plan, the park eventually became associated with suspect and criminal activity.

“Kirby park is one of our less frequently used parks. It doesn't have any amenities, any playground equipment, anything like that,” Director of Community Services James Childers said.

The 19.5 acre park is located in an industrial and commercial area of Abilene near the corner of South 14th Street and Treadaway Boulevard, just near Cedar Creek. 

The 2007 estimate to update the park and outfit it with improvements like new practice, play and rental facilities ranged between $500,000 and $1,000,000.

Childers said putting the park up for a bid would not hurt the city.

“We've discussed it internally and decided we don't have an issue with parting with the park and the maintenance expense of it,” Childers said.

Profits from the sale would go toward Abilene’s other parks.

“We're required by law to do that so that means we can do more park improvements in other parks and buy new playground equipment, things of that nature,” Childers said.

Members of Abilene’s Parks and Recreation Board will meet Tuesday, Feb. 19 at 8:30 a.m. to determine their recommendation to city council about whether to sell the park.

If city council approves the sale, Childers said voters will ultimately decide whether to sell and they hope to have the vote on the ballot by May.

The city will not disclose who originally stepped forward to make an offer on the park, but if the park gets put up for sale, it will go to the highest bidder.

KTXS contacted representatives of the Cedar Creek Waterway plan to find out whether they are interested in buying the park but did not get a call back.