Eastlake City Council, in a unanimous decision, approved the lease between the city and the American Croatian Lodge, which allows the lodge to lease the area known as Central Park for $1 a year.
Under the terms of the lease, the lodge will maintain and improve the area known as Central Park for a term of 15 years.
The lodge is planning to build state-of-the-art soccer fields with the cost still to be determined. It is expected that bringing soccer competitions into the city will also bring in additional revenue from visitors and teams attending the competitions.
The lease agreement met with some resistance from a small group of Eastlake residents, who felt the green space was needed more than soccer fields. In the end, council decided the agreement was in the best interest of the city.
“Council and the mayor spent considerable amount of time to consider the concerns of various persons and revise the agreement to provide an awesome park at no cost to the city,” said City Law Director Randy Klammer.
“I am looking forward to working with the ACL just like I do with E-PAL, First Energy, Willoughby-Eastlake Library, Lake County YMCA, and Best Supply,” said Mayor Dennis Morley.
The Police Department rents the Community Center, which houses the E-PAL program; the Willoughby-Eastlake Library has administration offices in City Hall; and the Lake County YMCA leases the Houston-Fisher Pool along with Best Supply, without which, the pool would have had been shut down.
The leases allow the organizations to rent the city property for $1 a year and they assume all maintenance and upkeep for the property.
This is the alternative to selling off property the city cannot currently afford to maintain. It also allows the city to hold onto the assets, without the financial burden of upkeep on the properties.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was edited at 11:10 a.m. May 12 to correct the expected cost of the soccer fields.