The city of Eastlake and the American Croatian Lodge are working out an agreement that will allow the lodge to lease the area located behind the lodge known as Central Park from the city.
The agreement would be for a 15- to 20-year period for $1 a year.
The lodge intends to build five soccer fields on that property and assume full responsibility for maintaining the almost seven acres of land for the duration of the lease agreement.
While the American Croatian Lodge is a for-profit corporation, it will be a not-for-profit entity running the soccer fields, said Mayor Dennis Morley.
The lodge will agree to rent the fields out for use to the general public
Eastlake City Council will meet at 7 p.m. April 12 in City Hall where it is expected to vote on the legislation authorizing the mayor to enter into the agreement between the city and the American Croatian Lodge Inc.
One of the reasons behind allowing the lodge to lease Central Park is that the city cannot currently afford to maintain the land, said Morley.
Its not in good shape and we are constantly getting complaints about how bad the city looks, so if we dont have the money to take care of it, lets get a private entity to come out and do that, and thats what we are doing, he said. We are doing that on anything we cant fix.
Morley indicates that citizens have suggested the city then sell the land outright,
Say we sell the property and get $300,000 to $400,000 for it, by the end of the year that money will be gone Morley said. I look at it and in 15 years maybe two things will happen: Maybe the city will have money and maybe if we have to go there for any recreation or bond that someone will pass it somewhere down the line so why give up the acreage for 300 thousand that will be gone by the end of the year?
The American-Croatian Lodge has been unable to be reached for comment.