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Mill Creek South residents complain about park's condition

BATAVIA – Batavia Park District officials said they will work on improving the condition of Levi Newton Park after meeting with residents who had voiced concerns about the park being overrun with weeds and other issues.

Levi Newton Park, which is located in Mill Creek subdivision near Geneva, is maintained by the Batavia Park District.

Batavia Park District Executive Director Allison Niemela and Eric Lacher, the district’s director of parks and properties, met with residents at the park Tuesday.

“We really want to make sure all parks within the Batavia Park District boundaries are the best maintained and manicured parks in the Tri-Cities area,” Niemela said.

Mill Creek South resident Kevin Reszel met with Niemela and Lacher to discuss the concerns. The residents have created a Facebook page, Revive Levi Newton Park.

“The weeds are unsightly,” Reszel said. “They can get as high as a foot. The field is uneven and unsafe for kids to play on. It’s just basic neglect, especially when we see other Batavia parks looking great.”

Niemela said park district officials know the park has soil issues.

“Before this was a park site, it used to be part of an extensive nursery farm,” she said. “There are soil issues that make it extremely difficult to grow healthy grass. We will be taking soil samples to determine what the issues are.”

Niemela said the park district for the past four years has not done weed control at its parks “for cost-containment purposes.” But weed control has been put back in the park district’s budget starting this year, she said.

“We are working on a contract right now for weed control in all of our parks,” she said.

Reszel said the meeting with the park officials went well, but that Mill Creek South residents still plan to voice their concerns at the next Batavia Park Board meeting June 18.

“We want to see a plan and how quickly they are going to take care of the safety issues,” he said.

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