Kroupa said such an arrangement would save the county from spending roughly $100,000 per year in expenses to maintain a park that relatively few residents use, and would ensure the park is used for a good cause after being the scene of three deaths.
“It’ll make it a place of healing after so much tragedy,” Kroupa said. “It’s hard to imagine, but three moms don’t have their sons anymore.”
Kroupa acknowledged leasing the park to a nonprofit amounts to shutting out the public. She said she’s interested to hear how residents would react, but first county officials need to work out whether a lease agreement is possible.
Grand Traverse County received Twin Lakes Park in several pieces as gifts from Parm Gilbert, a former judge, Traverse city attorney and prosecuting attorney, in the 1940s and the Lautner family in the 1960s, said Christopher Forsyth, the county’s deputy civil counsel.
Kroupa said the parks commission will ask county attorneys to analyze the terms of Twin Lakes Park deeds and report back on what the county can and cannot do with the land.
“If the ruling comes back that we simply can’t do it, then we can’t do it,” Kroupa said.