Sarvis Park neighbors blame Flint for huge pile of dumped debris


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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) – The town of Flint has partnered with Crime Stoppers to present a cash reward to anyone who catches an illegal dumper.

But a neighborhood club in Flint says there’s a steadily growing landfill site in the Sarvis Park neighborhood and it’s the city’s fault.

The neighbors cleaned up on April 24 and left a pile of garbage that they picked up that day. Two months later, it’s still there and a lot more garbage has been added, which the block club accuses the city of not keeping its word.

“You can’t hold the citizens to account when you leave the scourge in the community too,” said Ladel Lewis, Sarvis Park Ward President and Flint City Council candidate.

He organized the April cleanup. Michigan State Police, Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley, community members and the town’s Blight team were in attendance.

Without the equipment to deal with that pile in April, she said the Blight Team promised to return a few days later with a front loader to fill the dumpster and get rid of it.

“Well unfortunately they didn’t come back,” Lewis said. “And as a result, other people decided to join in the fun and also throw away illegal garbage.”

She stressed that their perspective from the park they worked so hard for remains an unofficial dumping ground

It is not that difficult. You don’t have to import special machine from China, Mexico. You have everything you need to fix this problem, ”Lewis said. “So as residents of the Town of Flint of the Neighborhood Association, we demand that the Town of Flint come here and fix what it started. We deserve better.

Flint Blight’s team leader Mario Thomas said the mess near Sarvis Park is now not April. He said the city crews came to clean up this land the day after the community cleanup day.

“We did what we had to do. However, within 24 to 48 hours it was destroyed, ”Thomas said. “It’s a hot spot. We have a lot of different hot spots around the town of Flint. Unfortunately, this is one of the hot spots.

He said the crew had actually been in the neighborhood once a month since the April cleanup. Thomas said the biggest problem is people treating this city like a garbage can.

The city plans to add six more people to its scourge team, doubling the staff. Look for those jobs that will be posted this weekend on the city’s website.

The Genesee County Land Bank owns the Clio Road property, where the mess is continually being emptied. The executive director said he connected with the neighborhood group after learning of the mess from ABC12 News and plans to get rid of it next week.

“We will be contacting the city directly to make sure the dumpsters are there on site,” said Land Bank executive director Michael Freeman. “We’re going to bring our heavy equipment, so that we can clean up with stuff that has already been put there. And ideally, we remove this dumpster from the site as soon as it is full.

He said the land bank needed help from the community to alert them to any issues with 15,000 properties in Genesee County. Complaints can be filed on the land bank’s website and Freeman said they will be answered within 24 hours.

“The government cannot solve all the problems. It will not be resolved overnight, ”he said. “But when the government works with neighbors and with communities, we can definitely make an impact.”

Once the mess is gone, Freeman wants to pursue a long-term solution that changes the role of the lot in the neighborhood.

“We have to block this, so people know it’s not OK,” he said. “We deserve better, and once we start to be proud of our neighborhood, others will too. Much like the broken window theory, when people see garbage and garbage, they add to it. We want to show them that this is not it and that it is not OK.

Freeman reached out to Lewis to let him know about his hopes of restricting homeownership. The land bank has tested a new plan to put cement blocks at certain property entrances.

“We can also install signage there to prevent intrusions. So we’re working on it right now, and I think that would be a good place to test it, ”Freeman said. “So I think we’ll try. “

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