WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) – A Westfield councilman says the Grand Park sports complex isn’t making money. The statement comes about two months after the city announced it was putting the park up for sale.
During Mondays finance committee meeting, Westfield council member Troy Patton said taxpayers want to know what Grand Park is worth and what it generates.
He explained that when you combine Grand Park’s revenues, expenses, taxes, debt and depreciation, the park is not making money.
“It’s about the taxpayers understanding that Grand Park isn’t making money and that’s OK, but we have to stop saying it’s making money,” Patton said.
His presentation showed that in 2021, the park’s revenue was $6.14 million with $3.37 million in expenses. He said the park’s depreciation was about $2.9 million that year, meaning the park was short by about $200,000.
Patton said the park has been successful in attracting new business and tourism to the city.
“He’s supposed to be an economic driver and he does that,” Patton said.
Patton also pointed out that the city still owes Grand Park approximately $80 million and that debt cannot be assumed by anyone else. Another committee member explained that if the park sells for $200 million, which the city hopes, the proceeds can be used to pay down debt.
Patton said he doubted anyone would pay that much for the park.
In a video shared on the city’s Facebook page, Westfield Mayor Andy Cook shared a different take on the park’s progress.
“Grand Park is perfectly capable of paying its own debt. It has an operating profit, so it makes money on top of growing our tax base,” Cook said.
WISH-TV contacted the mayor’s office for comment and was directed to the law firm Taft which is handling the peer’s RFP process. No one from this office responded to our request.
We also contacted the city redevelopment commission and councilor Patton and got no response.
So far, 16 groups have entered the Grand Park proposal process. The deadline for these proposals is June 22.