Said the city's own time line back in '07, the Belo Garden downtown should have been completed by ... let's see ... last month, matter of fact. And revised guesstimates last summer set the start date for construction at this summer. But there have been myriad reasons for the delay on the park that'll be paid for by Belo Corp., the Belo Foundation, Robert and Maureen Decherd and City Hall, chief among them the presence of tainted soil beneath the 1.5 acre parking lot bound by Main Street, S. Griffin Boulevard and Commerce Street.
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Wrote Dave Levinthal in August '08, "the soil is contaminated with lead from a fire in the late 19th century." So, then, how to solve the problem and get crackin' on creating the "rich and diverse respite from the urban environment, offering perennial gardens and shaded groves that take their cue from the regional Texas landscape"? Brownfields Cleanup Grants, per the Park and Rec Board's meeting agenda today. The city will ask the Environmental Protection Agency and the North Central Texas Council of Governments for $200,000 apiece to deal with site remediation for Belo Garden. Because, as we mentioned last month, the city's hot to get moving on its downtown parks; and Belo Garden is included, along with the Pacific Plaza Park that's also still a parking lot, in the Dallas Downtown Parks Master Plan. Course, way back then it was called "Griffin Street Park."