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North Little Rock reopens parts of Burns Park

After a tornado tore through town and left behind a huge mess, officials with North Little Rock report that the work in Burns Park is ahead of schedule.

NORTH LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — It has been a little over two weeks after the tornado, and North Little Rock Mayor Terry Hartwick has explained that the city is ahead of schedule with the cleanup at Burns Park.

The mayor himself was already on the putting green just days after the golf course's opening.

"You look forward to it. So I told our people, 'Let's open up Burns.' We can direct the traffic to where we want to take these big trucks so it doesn't interfere with the citizens of our city," Hartwick said,

Youth baseball will start back up on Monday, April 24, and the tennis courts are expected to open sometime after that.

"We're gonna open up our ball fields. We're gonna put our tennis courts up, we got our bike trails to begin to open back up," Hartwick explained.

As the city works to gradually open the park, getting the debris out has been no small task— and the city is working with disaster relief company, Crowder Gulf to do just that.

"[Debris] will be hauled off to people with got a contract with which is Crowder Gulf," Hartwick described.

Hartwick warned that any extra wood or mulch, some of which is mixed with debris, isn't up for grabs.

"It's just not what you think of when you go to Lowe's or Home Depot or wherever to buy your mulch...I've had a few calls at City Hall say 'Can I get some of that mulch?' You won't like it," he explained. 

Mayor Hartwick also said that he's still working with FEMA and Red Cross to coordinate relief in the community, but the city has more of a direct impact on cleaning up city property.

"It is our property when I say that our park is unrestricted. So we can take the mulch, put it in places, make sure it's chewed up and they will take it in places that won't affect anybody," Hartwick said.

Hauling out that debris leaves space for kids to play ball, which is something that Mayor Hartwick said is a big part of the North Little Rock community.

"I want our youth I want the people, the parents to be able to take the kids out and enjoy," he said.


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