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The city of Albuquerque offered the winning bid to purchase a park in the Santa Barbara and Martineztown area, answering pleas of area residents to preserve the landmark, the city said Tuesday.
The city held the winning bid of $60,000 for the Santa Barbara Park when the auction closed at 5 p.m. Tuesday, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department said.
The property was auctioned by the Archdiocese of Santa Fe to raise funds as part of its pending bankruptcy.
“The City has achieved our goal to own Santa Barbara Park,” Dave Simon, director of the Parks and Recreation Department, said in a written statement. “The park is so important to the community and we look forward to preserving it for generations to come.”
The city had leased the property, near Edith and Rosemont NE, from the archdiocese and has operated it as a park since the late 1960s.
The city made $550,000 in improvements at the site five years ago.
The announcement by the archdiocese that it planned to auction the property caused considerable angst among neighbors, several of whom wrote the City Council urging the city to purchase the park at auction.
The auction came as the archdiocese liquidates assets to fund future settlements related to sexual abuse claims against clergy members.