Taxpayer on 2nd Street park flip flop: "It is just a waste of money."

Taxpayer on 2nd Street park flip flop: "It is just a waste of money." »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- A demolished park in Downtown Yakima will get new life. KIMA learned the park that was ripped apart a week ago will be restored. And, you're paying for all of it because the park's owner changed her mind.

Flash back a week ago when a beautiful downtown park was vanishing. Pavement, décor and grass torn apart. For many in Yakima, the demolition was hard to watch. It sparked outrage on Facebook and onlookers.

But Action News learned the barren lot will change once more. In just a week, the owner Terry Powell had a change of heart to let the city to use the space once again.

"It's such an asset to the downtown," said Sub Shop Owner, Kathi Bonlender. "It really is."

But both changes have come at your expense. Taxpayers paid to rip it out and are now paying to fill the holes and restore it. The total price tag: About 8 grand.

"I think it's foolish," said Rick Kelsey. "If they are going to negotiate with her, they should have done it in the first place before they tore it all out. It's a big waste of taxpayer money."

Yakima City Manager Tony O'Rourke says the small cost is worth keeping the park. The problem is Powell still owns the lot.

"She can technically do this again in another month," said Kelsey. "Say, 'take your stuff out,' and she has every legal right to do so."

But O'Rourke says there's no guarantee.

O'Rourke says Powell was concerned about her liability if someone got hurt on the property. That's now covered by the city's insurance. It's a solution taxpayers hope will stick.

"How much of that could have done to roads, potholes or whatever," said Kelsey. "It is just a waste of money."

O'Rourke says he's confident Terry Powell will not change her mind again. To get all sides KIMA spoke with Powell over the phone. She had no comment.