Springfield Residents Tire of Trashy Neighbor

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Sandra Shepard and her neighbors are fed up with their neighbor’s mess in the 1800 block of North Jefferson Avenue.  They’re doing everything in their power to get it cleaned up but, despite their efforts, the trash has not disappeared.

“They are just hauling this in in pickup loads and going through it, and recycling,” said Shepard.

Someone isn’t keeping up on the job of going through all the trash.  Shepard has seen it piling up for the last several months.

“The first year, it wasn’t so bad, and then it just started getting really, really bad with junk in the back,” said Shepard.

The Shepards have put up a privacy fence to help block the view from their house and notified the neighborhood association.

“I have talked to them [neighbors] about this and told them this was ridiculous,” she said.

Starting last June, the Shepards filed complaints with the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

“Well, it can be a long and tedious process,” says Environmental Health Administrator Karen Prescott.

Environmental Services staff issued a notice to the tenant, Catherine Smith, as well as the landlord, that the property’s condition was violating city ordinance.  Thirty days was allowed for cleanup.  That didn’t happen, so they sent a second and final notice, with another 30 days to get rid of the trash.

There was no change and, in December, Smith pleaded guilty in Municipal Court and was given 20 days to clean up the mess. Time was up last week.

“The tenant was in the process of moving out, and there was a U-Haul there,” said Prescott.

They learned the problem was only moving a couple miles away to a house in the 220 block of North Rogers Avenue.

“We’ve already been out there today, when we found this out, to take pictures, and we’ll be working it from that angle now,” Prescott said on Wednesday.

Prescott says they’ll be able to use a quicker administrative hearing process with the house on Rogers, and hopefully have a contractor clean up. The owner of the house on Jefferson has promised to remove what his tenant doesn’t.

“This makes the whole city look bad,” Shepard said.

A reporter tried to speak with Smith about all the trash but got no response after knocking on the her front door.  Smith has been served an eviction notice, and has a court date scheduled on Jan. 26.  In the meantime, the health department is starting the whole process all over again at the second location.

This news article was originally written by Linda Russell and posted on January 19 on KYTV.  Linda can be reached at lrussell@ky3.com.
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