May 23, 2007
By Theresa Schmidt
Here along South Railroad Avenue near Cherry Street illegal dumping is a problem. A big pile of tires was recently dumped, along with remodeling debris and other trash and even a bag with a dead animal.
It's upsetting to people who live nearby like James Beloney. "That's disrespecting the community and with no regard to the people who live in the community. I'm very angry. "
City council member A.B. Franklin says just within the last couple of months the city had the area cleaned up and now, it's trashed again. "We got tires, we got sheet rock. All kind of trash, debris. We got furniture. He's dumping gas tanks and that's extremely dangerous, plus you got tires with a lot of water in them. With the mosquitos, of course, that's a health hazard."
Franklin wants to catch whoever is doing it. He hopes the writing on one tire may help provide clues to whoever is responsible. Says Franklin, "225 40 17. That's the size of the tire. This could be evidence to find out who's dropping these tires off. And I'm going to put this in the back of my truck and I'm going to bring this to public works or the police department of somebody and maybe they can kind of track this down."
Franklin says there are those trying to get the area cleaned up and developed. But illegal dumping just frustrates those efforts. Says Beloney, "They can catch a car coming from Mexico with dope in it but they can't set up nothing here to catch the people dumping this trash here."
As well, Franklin points out, it costs money for the city to have to repeatedly clean up the area. He hopes to see hefty fines or even jail time if they find who did it. "We're hoping there can be a stiff penalty because, just a slap on the wrist won't assure he won't do it again. But this needs to be stopped."