This Small Southern Michigan Park Is Being Sold Because No One Plays There Anymore
It seems that long gone are the days when a community park was filled with the laughter of young children playing on the sings, slide and monkey bars. The Ray Park in Branch County gets so little use, it's being sold.
Ray, if you've never heard of it, and no one would blame you if you haven't straddles the Michigan-Indiana state line about 14 miles as-the-crow-flies southeast of Coldwater.
The Branch County Parks and Recreation board recently put the land up for sale and received a single bid for $9,100. The Daily Reporter in Coldwater reports,
The parks department had spent, annually, between $4,500 and $2,500 a year just to mow and maintain the park. Last summer it cut back mowing to just over two acres, to cut costs.
The department also removed some playground equipment that was broken because it presented a danger and liability to the county. The issue of liability and insurance was one problem a local group of citizens had in trying to take over the park from the county.
The county parks department also removed two outhouses that served the park.
The park was barely use and was not visible from any other street in the small, older community, which straddles the state line. It is the only county park not on water.
Ray Park appears to be so insignificant to the county that it's not listed on the Park Board's website while a 5 year Master Plan released by the county isn't even sure where the park is:
Ray Park is an undeveloped 5.6‐acre parcel located just
north of the Ohio [sic] state line in the southeast corner of
Branch County in the unincorporated community of
Ray. The park area is open space with rolling terrain.
It's north of the Indiana state line, not Ohio.
An effort by the small community of Ray to take over care of the park never materialized and it's likely the sale will go through to a land-owner who has a neighboring property.
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