YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – On Tuesday, a contractor working for the Mahoning County Land Bank dumped two truckloads of debris in the front yard of a vacant house on E. Dewey Avenue. The pile is creating unsightly and smelly conditions along an otherwise well-kept stretch of road.
Someone living near the pile of trash called us, telling us about the heap dumped in front of 949 E. Dewey, a street between South Avenue and Shirley Road in Youngstown.
After several phone calls, we were able to confirm the trash was dumped by contractors working for the Mahoning County Land Bank. The debris was going to be recollected and disposed of once the vacant house was demolished, which we were told would happen next Monday.
Debora Flora, executive director of the land bank, said, “This was a misunderstanding, and I’ve contacted the contractors and they will take care of it in the morning.”
When we asked her if the land bank’s policy was to dump debris and pick it up later, Flora said that was all she would have to say.
According to neighbors, the two truckloads of trash came from the demolition of another house.
Looking at the pile, it very well could have been. There’s a chair, a set of blinds, a wheel — possibly from a toy — and all kinds of other assorted debris.
It was dumped Monday while it was raining and by Tuesday, it smelled.
“When we found out what actually went on, it just kind of made us angry,” said Youngstown City Councilman Julius Oliver.
The Mahoning County Land Bank acquires abandoned properties. Sometimes it demolishes them or attempts to make them productive again.
In this case, the contractors dumped the debris because the house on E. Dewey was also scheduled to be demolished. Then all of the debris could be hauled away at the same time.
“Number one, the people in those neighborhoods 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,” Oliver said. “So why do it? What kind of a precedent are you setting? What kind of signal are you sending to say, ‘We’re going to dump two trucks of trash because it’s going to be demolished tomorrow.'”
No one in the neighborhood wanted to talk on camera about what happened, but those we talked to were mad about the trash being dumped.
“What did the county think of these people to just dump this trash in their neighborhood without saying nothing? You’re sending the same signal to the other people that are dumping trash all over the city — ‘Hey, we’re doing it. You can do it, too.'”
Oliver said the Mahoning County Land Bank has done a lot of good but there needs to be a meeting to make sure it respects the citizens of Youngtown and does what’s right.