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City approves contract for eastside wasteland to become park

By: Genevieve Curits

EL PASO: Texas-- A troubled piece of land on the East Side will soon get a long-awaited makeover, thanks to the quality of life bonds approved by voters in November 2012.

The seven acres of land off Cheryl Ladd Court has always been an eyesore for neighbors. It was used as an illegal dumping ground for years, full of medical waste, glass and debris.

The city stepped in to clean it up in 2005 but  has taken eight years to finally get the funding and now a contract to transform it into a park.

It's been called dangerous, gross and downright ugly.

"It's horrible. You're driving up here you see all that glass," said Jessie Graves whose home butts up against the property.

After years of waiting, the neighborhood will finally get what it's looking for. /

"Waiting and waiting and I don't see nothing," said Guillermina Aranas who lives nearby.  

The neighborhoods patience has finally been rewarded. The city awarded a contract for $1.6 million to turn the once hazardous, dump site into a place to gather and play.

"I hope you can walk around and get some exercise. I hope it will look pretty back there instead of all of that junk, dirt and rocks," said Graves.

It's a project city Rep. Eddie Holguin has seen through from the start. He dedicated the area a park in 2011.

"A lot of those people never thought they'd ever get to see a park out there. I'm just really, really happy, eight years of hard work and tons of meetings, we're finally going to be able to accomplish that," said Holguin.

The makeover includes new athletic fields, volleyball and basketball courts, and playground areas for children, new landscaping and lighting.

"We waited for a long time for the park, 20 years," said Aranas.

Now, come April, Graves might actually want to see what's always been in her backyard just beyond her rock wall.

"My son's already saying, 'We can knock down this wall and walk down there,'" said Graves.

Construction is scheduled to begin in November and the park is to be completed in April.




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