Bainbridge officials will close on 18.2 acres of property on the town's north side in less than a week, and already, town council members have taken steps to begin annexation of the land.
At their meeting Wednesday, council members Mike Smith, Naomi Barker and Richard Cope voted to begin the process of bringing into the town the property they are to officially take possession of on April 21.
Bainbridge Clerk-Treasurer Jason Hartman told the BannerGraphic Friday that by annexing the $90,000 piece of land, they could provide utilities to whatever is developed inside the annexation.
Currently, the property is in Duke Energy (formerly Cinergy) territory.
Hartman explained, if the land is developed immediately, then Bainbridge will have to pay a severance fee to Duke while Bainbridge provides electricity to whatever is built there. However, if it remains untouched for five years, then no fee will be owed.
"(Town attorney Laurie Robertson-Hardwick) is investigating details right now," Hartman said.
He emphasized no other property will be affected by the annexation.
Possible utilities on the land could include baseball field lights or electricity to the concession stand at the park the town hopes to eventually construct on the land.
The money to pay for the 18.2 acres will come from Economic Development funds the town already receives. Previously, that money was used to build the Bainbridge Community Center. Now that the Community Center project is completed, the funds can be devoted to the park property.
However, to pay for the construction of the actual park, Bainbridge Park Board members have discussed using league dues and tournament fees as well as applying for grants.
Hartman said he is hopeful the town will be eligible for grants with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation (formerly the Department of Commerce) now that an income survey of the town is almost completed.
All 175 surveys are in, and he said he expects certification of the results to be finished by early next week.
In order for the town to qualify for state development grants, officials will need to show that at least 50 percent of Bainbridge households have low-moderate incomes.
"I feel like we will be there," Hartman said.