Princes lease land for park

Bin lot could become sandlot or soccer fields

OROVILLE – The sometimes controversial bin lot at the south entrance to town should resound with shouts of joy as it will become a city park, thanks to generous offer made by the Prince family.

The family contacted the city and has agreed to lease the land where Gold Digger Apples used to stack it’s apple bins for one dollar a year, for the next five years with an option for another five year renewal, according to Jim Prince, whose family goes back to the turn of the century in Oroville.

“One thing I had drilled into me when I was a youngster is that you gotta give back,” said Prince. “Dad led the program to get the football field lighted and then he provided the scoreboard and the fence. This is an attempt to try and continue the same thing.”

Prince said it will be up to the city to decide what kind of ballfields will be made on the six plus acres.

“I think that they are talking about putting in some soccer fields,” he said. “From an asthetic standpoint it will be nice to have a park there versus having the bins there. It will be a real plus for people driving into town and seeing a park there. It should also help the neighbors with their property values by having a park nearby.”

He described the lease as as a win-win for everyone.

“We need ballfields for kids and there was some concern about the dust blowing into the neighbors’ yards. It really concerned us, but we also wanted to make sure that Gold Digger would not be too badly impacted by having to move their storage somewhere else. They are a major employer.”

Greg Moser, general manager of Gold Digger Inc. said the lot was convenient for storing bins, but that the growers’ cooperative would be able to find other places to keep them.