Smyrna adds property to park at Lake Como

DOVER — Smyrna’s park at Lake Como is going to expand soon.
Legislation approved without objection by the General Assembly in June will transfer a portion of land currently owned by the Delaware Hospital for the Chronically Ill to the town.

The hospital, which is run by the Department of Health and Social Services, sits on 62 acres of land off U.S. Route 13.

Next to it, behind the adjacent Public Health Laboratory, is a large field bordered on one side by Lake Como. It’s a portion of that field that will soon belong to the town.

“We’re looking to expand, basically, our recreational opportunities at Lake Como,” Smyrna Town Manager Gary Stulir said. “It’s adjacent to some property already owned, the beach area, so we’re looking at the future.

“We don’t have any immediate plans for something that we’re going to do tomorrow or something like that, but it presented itself” as a good opportunity.

The land in question is about two or three acres, Mr. Stulir estimated. While he’s not aware of exactly when the transfer will be complete, he expects it to be within the next few months.

The idea for the transfer came from former Mayor John Embert, and the town spent about a year working with the state to hand over the land, according to Mr. Stulir.

“It definitely was a group effort to keep it moving,” he said.
While Mr. Stulir is not sure exactly what the land will be used for, he’s confident Smyrna Town Council and other local officials can figure out a good use for it.

The Lake Como park currently includes a swimming area, playground equipment, picnic tables and pavilions. People can also use it to fish or launch a boat.
The town will officially pay $1 for the land.

As part of the enabling legislation, Smyrna cannot sell the land or restrict its use.

The town must also build a fence separating the area from the hospital property.

Staff writer Matt Bittle can be reached at 741-8250 or mbittle@newszap.com. Follow @MatthewCBittle on Twitter.

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