The city of Van Alstyne and its Parks & Recreation Department are the new owners of a John Deere Gator, thanks to a gift from United Ag & Turf, which is moving its John Deere dealerships from Sherman and McKinney to Van Alstyne.


City Manager Lane Jones said the city can use this to help keep its many park areas in good shape, and it will be helpful with such ventures as the new sodding the city just put down in Dorothy Fielder Park. He and Public Works Director Steve White both said the new Gator will definitely be put to use at Fall der All on Saturday.


“The timing was great — just in time for Fall der All,” Jones said.


The city’s public works crew helps at Fall der All with barricading the streets around downtown; helping vendors transport their canopies, tables and such; setting out trash and recycle bins; and so much more all day long, even working after everyone else has gone home with removing barricades, moving the trash carts and making sure the streets are clean of dangerous debris.


“This is a great gift to the city for their work with its parks and certainly great right before Fall der All,” Mayor Steve Riley said.


White also explained the vehicle can also go where the grounds are soft and muddy to get crews in closer for their maintenance and repairs. The utility vehicle has an enclosed storage area, an open cargo area and a one-ton towing capacity for any trailers that need to be brought to work sites.


United Ag & Turf’s CEO Brody Pettit said earlier that he plans for the company to be involved in the community, as it is in all the 20-plus communities in which it has dealerships. The new Van Alstyne dealership is expected to open within the next year.