By Harrison Thrasher
The Mason Times
The City of Mason has sent a request to the Ingham County Board of Commissioners for purchase of Rayner Park.
The 60-acre park was nearly closed in 2009 under ownership of Ingham County due to financial strains at the time. It has since been under the control of Mason after the county agreed to a six-year lease.
The park cannot be sold by Ingham County until the commissioners are able to fund a boundary survey. According to City Administrator Martin Colburn, the purchase will be contingent on when the county’s budget allows for the survey to be completed.
“They do not know if they can accomplish it this summer, or wait until next year due to budget issues,” said Colburn. “They are working on their budget right now. Whether or not they accomplish it in 2015 or 2016 is ultimately up to them.”
Colburn also says that Mason has vastly improved the park.
“We’ve been successful in not only maintaining the facilities, but that there have been improvements made thanks to the work of volunteers,” said Colburn. “There’s new asphalt on the basketball courts, several new bridges and cleaning of the ponds twice per year.”
Before the park can be purchased, Mason must figure out how much money and labor has been put into it and by how many different sources. Mayor Pro Tem Marlon Brown considers the investment to be dormant until financial considerations can be figured out.
“The city needs tabulation regarding the amount of funds both the city and other non-profit entities have invested in Rayner Park since we started the lease agreement,” said Brown.
To budget for a the park, the city know how much it will cost to maintain it. A clear outline of what has been spent by the city and others will be vital in deciding whether to purchase it.
The Ingham County Board of Commissioners has been notified of the request, and the City of Mason currently is waiting to hear back.