Residents have complaints along Lakeside, Alpine drives

Published 7:46 pm Friday, March 14, 2008

Sinking back yards and trash filled ditches plague the area of Lakeside Drive and Alpine Drive.

Picayune resident Emmett Hayes has been dealing with the same issue for a number of years. Twice the city has been out to fix the problem but it keeps coming back. A more recent issue for Hayes involves trash lined ditches clogging the area’s drainage.

The sink hole problem in Hayes’ backyard Lakeside Drive has been going on for years. Apparently a sewer line is causing the problem. In his 35 years living at that address he has had the same problem three times. The most recent episode of the problem began in the spring of 2005, Hayes said.

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Public Works Director Chad Frierson said he went out to look at it and has an idea what is causing the problem. Hayes said that was a year ago. The problem appears to be a hole in the sewer line leaching soil into the line. The missing soil causes the ground to sink.

The best way to fix the problem is to completely revamp the sewer lines in the area, Frierson said. He said Grant Administrator Barbara McGrew is working on a $2.9 million grant to do such work in the city. He is not sure if Lakeside Drive will be part of that grant, but if it isn’t, then the city will apply for another grant.

Hayes said he does not have water backing up in his yard nor does he smell raw sewage.

Another complaint Hayes has is the collection of trash near a section of duplexes on Alpine Drive. The high turnover of residents in those apartments has caused a collection of resident’s unwanted materials and other trash to accumulate.

“The whole block is full of nothing but trashy filth,” Hayes said.

The trash collecting is in the ditches and causing the culverts to clog up, Hayes said.

City Code Enforcement official Alvin Carter said those properties have previously been on a clean up list. Now he will send the landowner a letter to clean up the property.

“Once you been there once, that’s it, then you have five days,” Carter said.

Cleanliness of property is the responsibility of the landowner, Carter said. The landowner could include a clause in a lease agreement mandating the renter maintain the property, but city notification goes to the landowner, Carter said.

Frierson said trash in that area is a constant battle. In the past year the city has been out there three times to get the area cleaned up.

A resident of the apartments in question, Corey Dowdell, said most of the trash in the ditch was there when they moved in two weeks ago.

“I don’t want to just go off in the ditch and pick up the trash,” Dowdell said.

Even though he may not want to, Dowdell did say he plans to remedy the problem.

“I guess I’m going to have to clean it up,” Dowdell said.

Dowdell’s apartment also has a number of items in the backyard left from previous tenants. Items include an open umbrella, a used mattress and a number of other discarded items. The neighbors next to him moved out less than a week ago and also left a number of items outside that home. Dowdell said he hasn’t seen them since.

“I’m cleaning my own (yard) up, I ain’t cleaning theirs,” Dowdell said.

His other complaint about the apartment deals with his leaking water main. A leak is visible from the road at the water meter. A city employee reportedly came out to fix the water it, but the leaks continue, Dowdell said.

Frierson said if the leak is towards the street then the city will be responsible to fix it, if the leak is towards the home, then it’s the landowner’s responsibility. Still, it could be a week or two before anyone goes out to look at it, Frierson said.

District III Council member Anna Turnage said she is aware of the problems in that area and has turned those issues into the proper city departments.

“I did try to take care of it but is has not been taken care of yet,” Turnage said.

A third problem she aims to resolve involves cars parking along Alpine Street. To remedy that problem, Turnage said she asked for a No Parking sign to be installed.