CRAB ORCHARD — After seven years of dealing with contaminated land left behind by a scrap yard along Crab Orchard's main thoroughfare, the scenery across from city hall is looking a little greener.
But the city's mayor isn't saying anything about it — at least not yet.
The former salvage yard property, previously prohibited from use by the EPA, has been transformed into the beginnings of a park, with young plants growing in landscaped areas, a walking path and a basketball court.
Records from the EPA show Crab Orchard received a $200,000 grant in 2010 for clean-up of a former scrap metal site, but Mayor Billy Shelton declined to discuss the changes, how they were made possible or what role the grant played.
Shelton told a Crab Orchard city hall employee to tell the Interior Journal he wanted to wait until an official ribbon-cutting ceremony before he talked about the park.