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Fire chief doesn't agree to rescind burn ban; Mayor working on new park project

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OVILLA – Fire Chief Donnie Pickard expressed concern over the Ellis County Commissioner’s Court decision to rescind the burn ban after only being in effect for a few weeks during the Monday, May 9, Ovilla council meeting.

“We have reported to three fences and three yards caused from grass fires this afternoon,” said Pickard.

“I’m just not sure it was the wisest thing for them[ commissioners] to rescind the ban today.”

Pickard continued, “125,000 acres of new fires are occurring in West Texas now.”

While concerned about the burn ban, Pickard also expressed the new volunteers recruited for the fire department have not met his expectations.

“If they continue to perform like they have been now, I might have to make some changes,” said Pickard.

In other council news, Mayor Bill Vansyckle discussed plans to develop a park board with Mayor Pro Tem Tom Leverantz and City Administrator Randy Whiteman with hopes of building a new, large park for the city.

“The United Methodist Church [of Ovilla] and I have been in talks about leasing a small north portion of their land to turn into a park,” said Vansyckle.

Vansyckle noted the park impact fee came into effect but, the park board never was established.

“With help of a citizen on board as well, this will be a tremendous assets to the city,” said Vansyckle. 

“UMC did the same thing for a park in Glen Rose. The city maintained the property and it’s been a very successful park.”

Vansyckle is hoping to come back with more specifics at the next council meeting after the board meets with the church.


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