Land that was seized by the government as part of a racketeering case is being turned into the newest Highland Village park.
The land, at 707 Highland Village Road, was seized in 2004 by the IRS in a situation involving racketeering, obscenity, fraud and income tax evasion.
Highland Village applied for a deed transfer of the property, enlisting Rep. Michael Burgess to help. In 2010 the city was presented with the deed by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The property includes frontage along Lewisville Lake is adjacent on both sides to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers property. It has been turned into a community park with a trail head to the city’s Inland Trail System.
Lakeside Community Park will open with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Thursday. The park will include a number of amenities.
“We submitted the application for a deed transfer with the hope we could partner with the federal government and the city could attain this property,” stated City Manager Michael Leavitt in a press release. “We couldn’t have anticipated the road blocks along the way that translated to a seven year delay.”
The property was transferred through the “Weed and Seed” program and through an application through the Federal Equitable Sharing program. The transfer stalled again when the Fifth District Court in New Orleans, where the case was in the process of appeal, was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina.
“We couldn’t have navigated our way through the process without the assistance of Congressman Burgess and his staff,” said Mayor Charlotte Wilcox in a press release.
“We’re pleased to have the opportunity to create this property into a beautiful lakefront park for use by all of our community. It is in appreciation for his efforts we voted to name the pavilion the Congressman Michael C. Burgess Pavilion.”
Parking for the ribbon cutting will be available at Brazos Park with shuttle service to the new park starting at 9:30 a.m.