Residents want debris removed from property

July 8, 2009 3:57:05 AM PDT
Neighbors in a northeast Harris County community say they're at their wit's end over how to deal with a dump that's become an eyesore and a hazard in their neighborhood. Residents in the Greensbrook subdivision say they're getting the run-around while trying to find out who is responsible for cleaning the mess up.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the illegal dumping in the northeast Harris County neighborhood, but the people who live there say they can't wait to have it cleaned up.

Piles of heavy trash and a number of abandoned trucks sit across from a row of modest homes in the Mount Houston-Beltway 8 area. It's trash that's been there for far too long, according to the neighbors.

"People are losing their homes, banks are letting people go, and when they let them go, they're piling trash up on the curbs and we're having a hard time getting it cleaned up," said neighbor Carla Williamson.

Luann Simon lives with her sister Carla and her grandson and regards the county land across from her home as a space for her grandson to play.

"We've been on the county for at least two months, because we've got kids, we've got dogs, we've got pets and even though this side is county property, we try to keep it up," said Simon. "There's broken glass, there's snakes, it's causing rodent problems, it's causing bug problems."

On Monday, a sheriff's deputy finally came out and red-tagged the trucks.

"We're going to collect some witness statements. Apparently some contractors who were out there cleaning houses are responsible for most of the debris and we're pursuing that," said Deputy Stephen Williams of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

After months of wrangling with county workers, the end could be in sight.

"On Wednesday, the abandoned vehicles should be moved if they're still out there and should have a word on Precinct One getting out there and picking up the debris," said Dep. Williams.

A spokesperson from the Precinct One Commissioner's Office told us the trash will be picked up Wednesday as well.

The Harris County Sheriff's Office told us if there's illegal dumping in your neighborhood, you should call 311 in the City of Houston, and call your local precinct commissioner outside city limits.

When we called Precinct One Commissioner El Franco Lee's office, we were told by a staff member that those complaints should instead go to the Harris County Public Health and Environmental Services Department. Our request to that department for an interview went unanswered.

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