Local Woman Pleads With City To Clean Her Neighborhood

By: Matt Howerton Email
By: Matt Howerton Email

Angela Cleghorn

BELLMEAD (February 5, 2013)--It's an eyesore she can't stand anymore. 56-year-old Bellmead resident, Angela Cleghorn, is fed up with seeing mountains of trash, garbage, and junk in her neighborhood.

Cleghorn lives in the 4500 block of Michigan street in Bellmead. She's been a resident of the neighborhood since 1990, but lately she claims people have been violating numerous city ordinances in her area.

"To live in my neighborhood, you'll need a malaria and tetanus shot," Cleghorn said.

Cleghorn claims that various neighbors illegally dump garbage within the neighborhood, visibly keep it on their lawns, and fail to upkeep vegetation.

The worst of the mess can be found in an abandoned house near Cleghorn's home.

"People in my neighborhood come over into this abandoned house, and throw garbage and junk off their property they don't want," Cleghorn said.

"I call it Calcutta Street. It looks like a slum."

Cleghorn owns an empty lot next to her home. She spent an estimated $5,000 to pave the lot and place fencing around it.

She feels the gratuitous garbage in the neighborhood is devaluing her property.

"I'm not even going to be able to make any money off my property," Cleghorn said.

"No one would enjoy coming down this street. It's downright scary."

According to the City of Bellmead's municipal codes, if a property is in violation of an ordinance, the city can notify the property's owner of the violation. The owner then has ten days to fix it.

If the owner doesn't comply, the city can abate or correct the violation.

Yet, after countless e-mails to the City of Bellmead, Cleghorn says nothing is being done.

"The abandoned houses, the junk, and the garbage are still here," Cleghorn said.

Bellmead Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Wilson told News 10 the city is aware of the dilapidated homes and illegal dumping and said he’s looking to use money funneled through the city's Economic Development Corporation to fund a project to tear down condemned homes.

Wilson estimates about 30 to 40 homes should be torn down at a cost of $8,000 to $15,000 per home, which would require as much as $500,000 to fund the effort.

Essentially, the code enforcement officer would divide the city into zones, and identify homes that are not up to code and are uninhabitable, he said.

Wilson says it's a problem that can deter potential residents and businesses from relocating to the area.

(Ke'Sha Lopez contributed to this story)

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