Residents fire off concerns to commissioners
By Steve Ramos, Reporter
Jun 18, 2013, 15:56
Pick an adjective: angry, outraged – or just plain fed-up. All of them describe a group of residents who told the Dumas City Commission on Monday they are tired of the enormous amounts of trash being left in Utley Park that ends up in their yards.
"It's ridiculous," said Buddy Trent, who lives east of the soccer fields at the park.
Trent described a scene that he and his neighbors said has become common. People who use the soccer fields leave acres of trash and debris behind, including soiled diapers, clothing, broken glass and beer bottles. The fields recently resembled a dump after players and spectators left an enormous amount of trash behind after a soccer tournament, an event that fueled the residents' anger to the boiling point and spilled over to include at least one of the commissioners and the Dumas chief of police.
"I got madder as the days went on," said Robbie Robertson, who lives east of the park. "I'm even madder now. It looked like a bomb went off out there. There were empty dumpsters with trash two feet from them. The trash was scattered for about three acres."
So who are the culprits?
"The Burmese community has a big tournament every three or four months," said Edgar Hernandez, who is active in an Amarillo soccer league that includes Dumas. "The pot was about $5,000, and they were playing that weekend. They invited me out there, so I went Saturday, but I didn't go back Sunday."
Dumas PD Chief Jim Nelson told the commissioners it took several days to track down the people responsible for the problem. He and City Manager Vince DiPiazza spoke to some of the Burmese soccer players, and they admitted to being at the park that weekend. The players assured the officials they would take better care of the fields.
Read more about this story, including possible solutions, in the June 20 print edition.