Mark Hill says he now plans to fund new fire/ambulance station in Camden Point
Shortly after Mark Hill won one-half of the second-largest Powerball Lottery jackpot in history in November 2012, the Dearborn area resident announced he wanted to give back to the Camden Point community he grew up in.
And he still does. But the scope of his philanthropic intentions has changed. Hill told The Citizen earlier this week that he was pulling out of an ambitious plan that would have seen him fund most of a massive Camden Point Park expansion and relocation of the current ball field at the intersection of Interurban Road and E Highway. Instead, said Hill, he plans to move forward — and quickly — with the construction of a new fire/ambulance station on Interurban Road on land his family owns. Hill said he made the decision to withdraw from the park expansion project because he felt there had not been enough progress in the one year-plus since he made his offer. “I’m not mad at anybody,” Hill said. “I’m just disappointed it’s been 15 months and nothing’s really been done with the ball field or the park. It just seemed like nobody was real interested in getting busy with it. It’s time to move on.” Hill said he made the decision last week to change course and has moved forward with what would have been the second phase of the parks expansion/ball park relocation project — building a new station that would be shared by the Camden Point Fire Protection district and NRAD. Hill’s plans as they stand now call for a well-known local builder to construct an 11,664 square feet building not at the current ball field site but on a six and one-half acre parcel of land he owns just north of the ball field on Interurban Road. He said he is waiting for the proper permits and cost estimates, but is ready to start moving dirt. “My wife (Cindy) and I are planning to leave for China to adopt another child the second week of April,” said Hill, who is the father of a daughter adopted from China. “I would love to break ground before then.” Officials from the Camden Point Fire Protection District and NRAD said they are on-board with Hill’s shared station plans. Camden Point Fire Chief Walt Stubbs said he is also disappointed that the park expansion plans have ground to a halt, but he is excited to be moving forward with a new station. “I hate that it’s going this way and it might still come back around sometime in the future,” he said. “It’s really not anybody’s fault, there were a lot of different groups involved and sometimes it’s hard to get things done in a timely fashion. Plus, the community built that field and sometimes change is hard to take.