City of Ashland buys property of missing man

Hardesty Property (KTVL/Sarina Sandoval)

An 87-year-old Ashland man went missing last year and now his property is up for sale.

The Jackson County Sheriff's office suspended the search of Harold Hardesty, after he disappeared in April 2017.

Hardesty's Estate listed the property for sale at $1.5 million. The City of Ashland will be buying the property for $1.2 million using money from Waste Water Treatment Plant and other funds.

"The sad part is I've known Harold Hardesty for a long time and it's very sad that he's not here to sell the property," Ashland Public Works Director, Paula Brown said.

She says city was looking for a piece of property for the Wastewater Treatment Plant for wetlands.

"It provides about 8-acres, which is exactly what what we need for the wetlands treatment process," Brown said.

She says it will actually be a park with trails having access to the green-way.

The property owner next door to Hardesty's property, Gary Schrodt, says he's been waiting decades for something like this to happen.

"These engineer wetlands can be very beautiful, they could be designed to look like nature," Schrodt said.

He says not only is this good for his property, but it's also good for the community.

"Wetlands, once they're established, they don't cost a lot to operate, so it should have economic benefits long-term," he said.

The city is looking to close escrow at the end of June, then the process will begin.

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