DELPHOS - For decades, the city has taken care of Garfield Park as if it were one of its own.
It wasn't until last night, though, that the little park actually became city property.
A resident doing research at the courthouse found that the park, once the site of Garfield Elementary School, actually belonged to the Delphos city schools - and that came as a surprise to Superintendent Bruce Sommers.
“I've been here 31 years, and I had no clue Delphos city schools still owned that property,” Mr. Sommers said. “Had this not come out, I'm sure we still wouldn't have known it.”
The school board decided Monday night that the one-acre park rightfully belonged to the city, which developed it after Garfield school closed and was demolished more than 40 years ago. It offered to sell the property to the city for $1, and city council accepted that offer Tuesday night.
“We really didn't have any use for it, and in all fairness to the city, they had maintained it for 40 years,” Mr. Sommers said.
Council President Bob Ulm said the city has always mowed the grass, taken care of any vandalism, and maintained the equipment at the small park.
“It cost my city an entire dollar, and we'll continue to do what we have done except now it's city property instead of school property,” he said.
Garfield is the smallest of three city parks in Delphos, a community of 7,000. It has slides, swings, basketball courts, and grassy area.
Mr. Ulm said a resident who wanted to make a donation for recreation improvements at the park discovered its mistaken ownership while researching the property deed at the courthouse.