City Lights August

DeSoto City Lights August, 2016 Large amounts of construcƟon debris from damaged homes was dropped on the youth football fields at Meadow Creek Park during the tornado that hit the southern part of DeSoto and northern Ellis County on December 26, 2015 causing the City to close the park to the public. Phase I of the embedded debris removal at Meadow Creek Park began recently and is producing some surprising results. Update on the Clean‐up at Meadow Creek Park

The iniƟal phase involves mowing the grass to half an inch, vacuuming the debris and using magnets to see if any debris remains. A pass of the areas around the perimeter of the playing fields by a tractor with a special

A Publication of the City of DeSoto Community Relations Department

magnet aƩached has already produced mounds of roofing and concrete nails, screws and other small pieces of metal. Once this vacuuming process is complete, the next step is to perform a special process called verƟcuƫng to further expose the embedded debris in the grass, remove thatch

buildup, and siŌ debris, followed by more vacuuming and mowing. Phase III will involve excavaƟng random areas of the fields and siŌing the removed soil three separate Ɵmes as a way to determine if other debris exists. Finally new topsoil and sod must be applied to the excavated areas in order to be ready for use. “All of this takes Ɵme,” said Phil Lozano, Assistant Director of Parks and RecreaƟon for DeSoto, “and must be done according to specific instrucƟons to saƟsfy FEMA reimbursement condiƟons.” In addiƟon to addressing the issues with the fields, there are several support structures that were damaged such as the press box, bleachers, goalposts, lighƟng standards, fencing and more.

It is anƟcipated that the fields will not reopen unƟl the fall 2017 season. However, arrangements are being made to allow the 36 youth football teams in various age groups to play at mulƟple sites within DeSoto Independent School District. “It will be a tedious situaƟon not being able to play at Meadow Creek, but we’re all one team,” said Calvin Ford, coach of the DeSoto Panthers, “and we’ll make it happen together.” Byron Sanders, President of the DeSoto Youth Football League and coach of the DeSoto Colts, said they are conducƟng “damage control” meeƟngs and assuring parents that they will have a season in 2016. “It’s all about safety,” said Lozano. “We want to be sure we have fields that are good and safe.”

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