The Chicago city government will invest $8 million to build a new park in the Mexican neighborhood of Little Village/La Villita.

The project, which will begin next March, will be carried out on a plot of land that belonged to the former Celotex asphalt factory, the municipality said in a communique.

The new park will cover 24 acres and will have lighting on the soccer and baseball fields, games for children, a skating rink and walking and running paths.

"The development of a park at the site of the former Celotex factory will be another important step forward," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said. "I will continue to work to improve these communities and help the residents of Little Village and Pilsen enjoy the quality of life they deserve."

Meanwhile, Emanuel accepted on Saturday the report of a special commission that analyzed the reuse of the plots occupied by the Fisk and Crawford coal-fired electric plants, which closed at the end of August.

The two plants polluted the Latino neighborhoods of La Villita and Pilsen for many years and were fought by environmental and community organizations.

The closure of the plants came as a result of an agreement between the municipality and the firm that owned them, Midwest Generation, which preferred not to make the required investments to convert the plants to use natural gas or some other clean fuel.

The program suggested by the commission includes the demolition of the plants and the cleanup of all industrial contamination from the land so that local businesses may establish themselves there.

"The plan ensures that the residents and businesses in these communities will live in a healthy environment and place a focus on responsible economic development that brings living wage jobs to our neighborhoods," the municipal government said. 

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