Downtown park no longer closing - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Downtown park no longer closing

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- NBC Right Now is digging deeper into the Downtown Yakima park that was being torn up and closed. We found out there are now plans to keep the green space open.

It's good news for folks who live, work, or even just visit Downtown Yakima. The small park at the corner of 2nd Street and Yakima Avenue is a popular spot for people having lunch or just walking around.

But last month, the property owner told the city to vacate the area so she could fence it off. That request coming after city officials denied a request to build a drive-thru Starbucks at the site.

But now, City Manager Tony O'Rourke says the request came because of confusion over a liability contract, and now that that's cleared up the park will stay.

"Some days I ride my bicycle down here. It's kind of nice to have it here and see people and kids playing out here," said Bryan Barnhart who works right next door to the park.

"I'm happy the green space is going to be here, but I think it's kind of unfortunate taxpayers are going to foot the bill to put it back," said Kirk Groenig who works downtown.

The city doesn't pay to use the land, but they will have to shell out the $5,000 it's going to cost to put the park back together.

And if developers decide to use the property for something else next month before their contract ends, the city would again have to clean up the park and close it down.

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