This past Wednesday afternoon, despite temperatures climbing close to the century mark, Lisa Duggan spent the day with her daughter and three grandchildren at Fireman’s Park in Graham.

As Granddaughters Aly and Emma Cox, ages 8 and 6 respectively, played on a swing set near the creek, daughter Tandie Cox fished with her youngest child, Tucker Cox, 4. The family takes advantage of the park every day, especially during the summer months.

“The youngest baby (Tucker), he only goes to school half a day, and the other half of the day we’re here playing,” Duggan said.

The grandmother explained that because her family lives several miles outside of Graham in South Bend and her grandson goes to school in Graham, it’s convenient to stop at Fireman’s Park in the afternoon since they are already in town.

Asked about the new park that was supposed to be completed this summer but is currently delayed, Duggan said she can’t wait. She said she has a major reason for the enthusiasm besides having one more local park where her grandkids can play.

Duggan explained that she was asked by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to leave her rent house on West Street in April, 2006, and was paid $15,640 for her trouble, plus another $1,200 payment for moving expenses.

An October, 2013 report by the City of Graham states that the USACE purchased the land on the west side of town, parcel by parcel, as part of a permanent evacuation plan, and then deeded those plots to the BRA. Duggan’s rent house was located on the land that encapsulated the mass buyout by the USACE.

Read the entire story in this weekend's Graham Leader.