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Bat infestation closes city park pavilion

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Published:   |   Updated: August 21, 2013 at 10:45 AM

PLANT CITY – Bats that forced the city to close the pavilion at Burchwood Park have moved on, but cleanup of their mess continues.

The bats were discovered in late July at the park at 104 Lake Blvd. The bats flew away and didn’t return after city crews removed plywood that covered up the rafters, exposing their hiding place.

But their droppings left behind quite a mess.

The city needs to pressure wash and paint the pavilion before it can be reopened.

The city will ensure that the bats don’t return by leaving the rafters exposed, City Manager Greg Horwedel said.

City Recreation and Parks Department Executive Director Jack Holland said the problem was a first for his agency.

“This is a new one in a park,” Holland said. “Bats are beneficial creatures but we don’t need them hanging around parks where children are playing.”

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