HALF of Esso Park has been poisoned and adjacent properties have been purchased by Orange City Council, yet there has been no confirmation why.
Council has bought the adjacent vacant block, which used to be a Shell service station, and the rundown former shop on the corner of Summer and Woodward streets.
It is rumoured the purchases are for a cafe and a car park.
In November Orange councillors voted to convert part of Esso Park into a 40-space car park for Orange High School staff and students to use.
Nearby residents Viv and Don Good have tended the roses at Esso Park for six years and are upset Orange City Council will not say whether the plan to turn half the park into a car park will go ahead.
“Somebody sprayed half the park but nobody will say who did it,” Mr Good said.
There had been no movement on the plan until this week when Mr and Mrs Good saw that half the park had been poisoned, in line with the back fence of the vacant block.
Mr Good said he had contacted council yet no one would tell him who had killed the grass, why it had been sprayed, what the plans were for the two properties council had purchased or whether half the park would be destroyed.
“It isn’t a coincidence that half the park is sprayed exactly in line with the fence,” he said.
“No one at council knows what’s going on. None of the neighbours have been told.”
A better idea would be to leave Esso Park as it is and build the car park on the vacant lot Mr Good said.
“I don’t have objections to what council need to do ... as long as it is done properly,” he said.
Orange City Council spokesman Allan Reeder confirmed council had bought the two properties but did not say why they were bought.
He said council bought “strategic properties” from time to time, which could be used for a variety of different plans, and these particular plans would be presented to councillors in a briefing in coming weeks.
Mrs Good strongly opposes the idea of bulldozing a park with 29 trees to make way for a concrete car park.
“Once the park is gone it’s gone,” she said.