A local foundation created to develop and maintain Pendleton King Park has filed a lien against the park in an effort to block an attempt by two park trustees to sell the property.
“The lien of close to half a million dollars represents the hard dollar cost invested into the upkeep and preservation of the park,” said Jim Blount, president of the Pendleton King Park Foundation.
The nonprofit foundation was created in 1966 to carry out the legacy of Henry Barclay King, who left the 64-acre property in a trust to remain as a public park in perpetuity. But last month, one of the park’s trustees, Clarence Barinowski, revealed he and the second of three park trustees signed a contract to sell the land to Winchester Homebuilders for $1.2 million.
Barinowski said he sold the park after his attempts to negotiate a new lease or sale to the city ahead of the current lease expiration on Jan. 1 went unanswered.
The purchasers are in their due diligence period and may encounter the lien and other documents, such as King’s will, that indicate they can’t easily gain title to the property.
On Nov. 28, the Augusta Commission agreed to enter into a month-to-month lease of Pendleton from park trustees. Commissioners asked about Pendleton on Tuesday said they were unaware of the status of the lease or the city’s efforts to keep it a park.
The lien shows the foundation contributed resources to the Troupe Street location for it to remain a park, Blount said.
“We’ve done all that with the understanding that we and the public will have access to the park,” he said. “If he’s going to prevent access to the park, then we essentially want our money back.”
In addition, the foundation has offered to become the park’s new owner and launched a fundraising drive to protect access to it.
On Sunday, the Pendleton King Disc Golf Organization is holding a “Save Our Park” tournament with check-in starting at 8 a.m. Eryn Eubanks and the Family Fold will give a benefit concert from 2 to 4 p.m.