Manson Chamber Spearheads Campaign

by Dennis Rahm

The Manson Chamber of Commerce is spearheading a campaign to purchase just under five acres of property known as Leffler Field and efforts are underway to raise the $1.3-million needed for the project.

Manson Chamber spokesman Jeff Conwell said this whole process started about a year and a half ago in conversations with the Leffler family who have hopes for the property remaining a park and to serve as a family legacy to the community.

Conwell told LakeChelanNow, “the Chamber is not interested in being landowners, but rather to help secure the property and turn it over to Manson Parks Department for management of the site.” Conwell went on to say the land is really a blank canvas and an opportunity for Manson to figure out what it wants as a community.

The Chamber is currently in the process of preparing a letter of intent to purchase the land. Beginning January 1, 2019, they will then have 120 days to raise the funds. Conwell said, “it’s going to be a bit of a horse race, but I think we can do it.” It’s expected there will be meetings where the public can learn more and also have an opportunity to get involved.

The Manson Chamber recently made a request of a half-million dollars from Chelan County and they have also been seeking advice and expertise from the Port of Chelan County. Another element of the effort to raise money for the land acquisition is public donations. An online donation site has been established. As of Monday afternoon December 3, the sharing site had generated $2,185 in donations.

Leffler Field is the last open space remaining in downtown Manson and is located adjacent to the Mountain View Lodge. For many years the Leffler family has allowed the site to be used for a number of community events including concerts, car shows, and most recently the arrival of Santa and Mrs. Claus by helicopter (photo above).