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NEW BERLIN - While Quarry Park seems destined for other uses, the city is considering creating a smaller, more centrally located athletic complex elsewhere, off Sunny Slope Road.

Ballfields and maybe soccer fields could end up in the 95.8-acre park that the city has planned for 5851 S. Sunny Slope Road in what is sometimes referred to as Section 35. 

Twenty acres, or about a fifth of the total future park, has become available from Thomson Realty of Wisconsin, which is creating a subdivision south of the 20 acres.

Others own the rest of the 95.8 acres. City officials hope to acquire those as they come onto the market in years to come.

The 95.8-acre park on Sunny Slope is seen as having both active and passive portions. The 20 acres available are in the active section.

The land would be purchased with parks and open space fees, rather than property tax money. That type of funding can only be used to buy parkland, not develop it.

But the city managed to get a little of the development costs out of the way. Thomson will grade the parkland when it grades the land for its future subdivision, Mayor Dave Ament said. 

That was the idea from the start, Ament said.

"We negotiated a pretty good deal to purchase that land and they do all the grading and seeding," he said.

No property tax money would be needed for that.

How soon the fields would be ready to play on depends on whether the city can create them without raising property taxes, Ament said. 

Alderman Ken Harenda said his top priority is to get development going in the Sunny Slope Road park, over developing an expanded Malone Park. Harenda also represents the Section 35 area.

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