Mayor, city councilman tour Montgomery's Genetta Park - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Confusion mounts over Montgomery environmental park

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MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) -

What may look like a hole full of weeds in West Montgomery is actually making for a cleaner city.

It's called Genetta Park and it's a partnership between the city and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. It sits at the corner of West Fairview Avenue and Interstate 65.

The park includes a stream built to filter the city's groundwater, but many are simply confused by it.

In an effort to get a handle on the park's progress, Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange and Councilman Arch Lee toured the site Monday morn ing.

"To get a better understanding of what it is we're trying to do," Strange said.

That's what a lot of people want to know.

"We are still wondering what are they gonna do about the park," says one local business woman.

You can't see the park from the road, but if you look over the railing you'll see a winding stream amidst a wetland.

It mirrors the original plan for Genetta Park.

"The real purpose for this is to mitigate the trash that's getting into Genetta Creek, Catoma Creek, and then eventually into the river system," says Mayor Strange.

The stream acts as a natural filter, separating water from garbage.

The garbage falls into a reservoir, the water continues downstream, out of Genetta Park and into Catoma Creek, which is not in good shape.

"The Catoma creek is under watch by ADEM as a stream that's really not functioning as it should be. Many cities around that have been fined because of debris that get in the system," Strange said.

As the stream continues filtering the water, construction crews are working to finish the park, which will include walking paths, benches and pavilions.

The mayor expects the park to be done by the summer.

"Phase one, which is almost complete, phase two will be complete and it will be ready for public consumption," Strange said.

There has been talk regarding the transaction of the land where Genetta Park now sits.

City officials confirmed Montgomery County Commission Chairman Elton Dean represented the city in negotiations and environmental reviews during the time the city purchased the land.

WSFA 12 News was told Dean received an opinion from the ethics commission stating he could represent the city.

He did receive a commission from being a real estate broker. We're told the city did not pay him that commission.

City officials tell us the person who sold the property paid Dean the commission.

Copyright 2013 WSFA 12 News.  All rights reserved.

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