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Council member says Westfield’s Grand Park doesn’t make money

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — A Westfield City Councilor claims the Grand Park Sports Complex, does not make money. The statement comes roughly two months after the city announced it was putting the park up for sale.

During Monday’s finance committee meeting, Westfield council member Troy Patton said tax payers want to know what Grand Park is worth and what it’s generating.

He explained when you combine Grand Park’s revenue, expenses, taxes, debt and depreciation, the park is not bringing in money.

“This is for the tax payers to understand that Grand Park does not make money and that’s OK, but we need to stop saying it makes money,” said Patton.

His presentation showed in 2021 the park’s revenue was $6.14 million with $3.37 million in expenses. He said the park’s depreciation was roughly $2.9 million that year, meaning the park was short about $200,000.

Patton did say the park has been successful in bringing new business and tourism to the city.

“It is meant to be an economic driver and that it’s doing,” said Patton.

Patton also pointed out the city still owes roughly $80 million on Grand Park and that debt can’t be assumed by anyone else. Another committee member explained if the park sells for $200 million, which is what the city hopes for, the profit can be used to pay off the debt.

Patton said he doubts anyone would even pay that much for the park.

In a video shared on the city’s Facebook page, Westfield Mayor Andy cook shared a different perspective on the park’s progress.

“Grand Park is perfectly capable of paying it’s own debt. It has an operating profit, so it’s making money in addition to developing our tax base,” said Cook.

WISH-TV reached out to the Mayor’s office for comment and was pointed to Taft Law Firm who is handling the par’s request for proposal process. No one from that office responded to our request.

We also reached out to the city’s Redevelopment Commission and Councilor Patton and did not hear back.

So far, 16 groups have started the proposal process to buy Grand Park. The deadline for those proposals is June 22.