By Kellen M. Quigley
The future of a Great Valley park formerly known as the Kill Buck Firemen’s Grounds remains uncertain for now, but the town board is considering action to revive the town property this summer.
At the regular Great Valley Town Board meeting Monday, the board discussed making the park open for the community again, first by mowing down the overgrown field to useable turf.
The park that was home to two baseball diamonds can be seen behind Hoag’s Gas Station on Route 417. In recent years, the 5-acre parcel owned by the Town of Great Valley looked more like an open field with grass nearly a yard high, but that may soon change.
“I’ve had a lot of interest in it,” said Town Supervisor Daniel Brown. He said he plans to begin mowing the field this spring with the highway department. “It’s really not grass right at this point, it’s a field, so it’s going to take some heavy equipment to do more than just lawnmowers.”
The land has been in the hands of the Town of Great Valley since 1978, although the Kill Buck Volunteer Fire Department operated and maintained the park for decades.
The site was popular for weddings and reunions, and was also home to the Father’s Day Chicken Barbecue organized by the fire department for years. According to tax information, the large 40-by-70-foot steel pavillion and concession stand was built in 1985.
Brown said in recent years, several interested parties have mentioned wanting to rent the site again, including the sports boosters of Salamanca who had rented the facilities in the past.
“The second Saturday in June is their event,” Brown said. “And a lot of families want to rent it and go back to using it. I think it’s a very positive thing that it’s got that kind of interest in it.”
Besides mowing the field, Brown said he and other town workers have to look at all the facilities and see what they need to update. He said updating the bathrooms and turning the water back on important factors in making the park usable again.
“We’ve got to get down there and see what we can do and get that back going for that community down there,” he added.
Whether or not the town decides to continue maintaining the park or sell it, some board members suggested renaming the area, specifically taking “park” out of the name.
For legal reasons, Brown said because the site is called a park, any sale of it would have to go to a referendum vote by the town. For now, the board agreed to call it Kill Buck Grounds.
“We’re still going to go ahead and fix it,” he said. “The way I look at it, if we rent it and it covers the cost of maintaining it, that’s great.”
Even though town officials agreed to getting the park back in shape for summer use, its old function of hosting baseball games is still a ways away. Brown said he’s talked with different groups in the past about using the facilities for games, but discussion of that has stopped in recent years.
In the meantime, plans for mowing the field and rehabilitating the facilities are still in the works.
“It’s something that we do for the people of this town, what any municipality should do for its residents,” Brown said. “If people never want to walk in there, that’s their choice. If they want to go there every weekend, that’s their choice, too.”