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Bessemer Planning Commission to discuss snowshoe property


Ryan Jarvi/Daily Globe

PROPERTY BELONGING to the city of Bessemer, shown above in the lower right corner, will be discussed at the Planning Commission meeting today. City residents have asked to purchase 7.1 acres near the bluff, but the proposal has seen opposition by other citizens stating the land is frequently used by the public.

BESSEMER - The Bessemer Planning Commission will discuss today the possible land sale of the public property near Steiger Field that roused some recent opposition from city residents.

The original purchase proposal was made by two separate parties for a total of 7.1 acres north of West Iron Street, and between Massie Avenue and State Street.

However, several city residents objected to the sale and told City Council and Planning Commission members that the land is frequently used for snowshoeing in the winter, as well as various summertime activities.

Luke Peterson and Ron and Marlene Zaleski were looking to acquire the land. Both parties already own property in the area.

Ron Zaleski is a member of the Planning Commission and Marlene Zaleski is a member of the City Council.

Father and son duo, Dick and Richard Matrella have told city officials that the property is some of the only green space available near downtown, and that it should be an addition to the Bluff Valley Park.

The Planning Commission briefly discussed the proposal but no action was taken at a previous meeting.

The property sale was then placed on the City Council's agenda for the July 7 meeting, though the issue was sent back to the Planning Commission for further review.

The Planning Commission discussed the sale at its July 9 meeting, but commissioners decided to postpone any decisions until they could take a closer look at the property.

Richard Matrella, who teaches in the Bessemer school district, told commissioners he leads students on snowshoe trails and offered to guide those interested. Determining where the trails run may have an impact on what amount of property commissioners recommend to sell.

The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the City Council, which will make the final decision.

The Planning Commission will meet at 3:30 p.m. today in the basement of Bessemer City Hall.


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