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Park closure spurs efforts to honor Ingram

With the park named after Roosevelt Ingram now closed, the city of Albemarle is seeking a new way to honor the former parks and recreation employee.

“It only seems right,” said Mayor Ronnie Michael at the city council’s last meeting.

Ingram worked for the city 21 years, finishing his time there as a maintenance supervisor. Due to his dedication — both to his department and his community — South Albemarle park was renamed Roosevelt Ingram Memorial Park in 1991.

However, the park has been slowly phased out over the past couple of decades. Put up for sale in the early 2000s, it remained open to the public for several years. But a couple of years ago, the park grounds were closed in an effort to better sell the land.

This summer, the city took another step to closing the park. After working out a deal with the N.C. Air National Guard to grade the land to a more marketable standard, the last pieces of park equipment, including the signs honoring Ingram, were cleared away.

“Now that we have Roosevelt Ingram Park up for sale, I think at some point we need to find a way to acknowledge the Ingram family,” said Councilor Dexter Townsend. “We closed the public park without any kind of notification to them… it would be good to do something commemorative.”

With that in mind, the parks and recreation department is recreating one of the signs taken down at the park. Once it is completed, it plans to present it to Ingram’s family as a way of honoring his legacy.

“We have spoken with (the family) and that is already in the process,” said Parks and Recreation Director Lisa Kiser.

A date for the presentation will be set once the sign is complete.