Outgoing Councilman Brancatelli Urges City to Not Sell Park to Newburgh Heights

Jan 03, 2022

Cleveland (Jan. 3, 2022) – Councilman Tony Brancatelli sponsored a resolution before his term ended opposing the sale by the city of Raus Park in Slavic Village. Newburgh Heights proposed acquiring the park, established in 1920, to develop housing.

“Slavic Village residents, since 1894, have worked to have parks in the neighborhood,” said Councilman Brancatelli. “They formed a South Side Citizens committee specifically for this reason.”

Emil and Katherine Raus sold the land to the city in 1920 for its preservation as park land. They had fought American Steel and Wire, filing a lawsuit in 1909, because its “slag crusher” was creating dust, gasses and destroying this property.

Raus Park has a long history, with neighborhood sled riding to Bohemian Athletic Sokol Club, and hosting annual exhibitions. In 1947 the city improved the park to create baseball and play fields. Until it closed, South High School used the park for baseball and football.

“It is an ideal location for future little league and local high school baseball,” Councilman Brancatelli said. “It’s a Cleveland-owned park and should be preserved as greenspace.”

Council will vote on the resolution opposing the sale at an upcoming council meeting. Councilman Brancatelli’s term ended at midnight on Dec. 31, 2021.