East Side residents hoping quality of life bond will turn former medical waste site into park

Dump site turned park?

EL PASO, Texas - A once illegal medical waste dump in East El Paso may be transformed into a park.

It's something residents near the Cheryl Ladd site have been wanting for years and now it could become a reality - if the quality of life bond passes on Nov. 6.

"A park would be like a dream, but the most important part is that we don't have the medical waste anymore," one resident said.

In 2004, ABC-7 first began reporting on the illegal medical waste dump. That led to the City of El Paso fencing off the area.

"I have no doubt that we can accomplish this -- if I finished something that took 15 years to accomplish, I can get a park there," City Rep. Eddie Holguin told ABC-7 back in 2007.

He managed to clean up the site during his first term in office and has since said it's possible to turn it into a park.

Five years later and neighborhood residents are still waiting for the new park. One resident said the empty lot still bothers her and said after the clean up nothing happened.

People used to find all sorts of medical waste out there, including syringes. That's doesn't happen anymore ever since the City cleaned up the site but it's still not the most appealing thing to have in the middle of your neighborhood as you take a stroll by the site.

This big lot is still filled with lots of debris. There's broken glass everywhere and apparently someone just came and threw out their used carpet right in front of the site.

The site could turn into a 7-acre-park with basketball and tennis courts, pathways and benches if voters pass the quality of life bond.

The project would cost $1.7 million of the $195 million of the quality of life bond designated for parks around the city. One neighbor thinks the new park would bring the neighborhood together.

Holguin said on Monday that the City had about $280,000 in unused park funds that could be used for the Cheryl Ladd site but the City's parks director said there are no such funds because their budget is for operating current parks, not for capital projects.

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