YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A house that’s been sitting empty for the last eight years is now the center of attention in one Youngstown neighborhood, but not for a good reason.
A pile of trash dumped by the Mahoning County Land Bank in front of a soon-to-be torn down house is now an eyesore, smelling up a neighborhood on the south side.
One neighbor called our newsroom Tuesday about the wet trash pile on 949 E. Dewey Avenue that’s been baking in the sun for two days.
After that call, 33 WYTV News Anchor Lindsey Watson went to the house to talk to neighbors and get answers from the land bank.
Members of Youngstown City Council, like Julius Oliver, are up in arms.
“Number one, the people in [that] neighborhood don’t deserve that at all. Number two, this is a county entity that did this and they wouldn’t do that in Boardman or Canfield or anywhere else in the county, so what kind of precedent are you setting?” Oliver asked.
While it’s not his ward, Oliver said that the land bank doing this sends the wrong message to people already dumping trash throughout the city.
He also gave a lot of credit to 7th Ward Councilwoman Basia Adamzack and her tireless efforts to rebuild that side of town.
“Then you got trash just wet and stinky and nasty. Meanwhile, the people of the neighborhood are so disgusted they don’t even want to talk about it,” Oliver said.
A few neighbors did give some insight into how the pile of garbage got to the front yard of the property.
They say two different dump trucks disposed of the debris, which includes an old chair, tire and blinds, in the pouring down rain on Monday. They were told it was trash from another house that was being torn down somewhere in the area.
The pile was left there by contractors used by the Mahoning County Land Bank.
“It kinda makes you wonder, where else is it happening and people don’t know?” Oliver asked.
Executive Director of the Mahoning County Land Bank Debora Flora said, “This was a misunderstanding and I’ve contacted the contractors and they will take care of it in the morning.”
When asked if the land bank’s policy was to dump debris and pick it up later, Flora made no comment.
Oliver, on the other hand, said something like this definitely calls for a sit down meeting with officials from the land bank.
“You were doing great, so what happened? We need you to maintain your properties, we need you to continue to respect the citizens of Youngstown and do what’s right,” Oliver said.
The debris was supposed to be recollected and disposed of once the house was demolished, which was scheduled to happen next Monday. It’s unclear if that’s still the case, but again, the land bank did confirm the trash will be moved by contractors on Wednesday.