Save my Neighborhood…Please!

I called our city’s street department this morning to ask them (nicely!) when (or if) they plan on fixing an ongoing drainage problem in our neighborhood.

Like other neighbors who’ve called, I got the run-around.

Here’s what we’re dealing with:

pooling water

I don’t know about you, but I find this distasteful on several fronts:

  • Pooling water is a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can carry the West Nile virus.
  • Lawn chemicals drain off into the sidewalk and street, eventually settling in the pooled water and attaching to dog paws. Dogs lick their paws, ingest chemicals, and become sick or die.
  • Some snakes (eeww!) prefer an aquatic environment.
  • Pooling water looks (and smells!) bad.
  • What kind of impression does it convey to visitors?

As I said, this problem has been going on for years. There are tiles in the nearby fields, they tell me, that drain rainwater into our neighborhood (and a few neighbors add to it by washing cars, watering lawns, etc.).

Admittedly, we’ve had a LOT of rain. During June alone, we amassed something like 10 inches of the stuff.

But I took this picture this morning — and we haven’t had rain for days! In fact, it’s been exceedingly hot and sticky, so you’d have thought this mess would have evaporated.

When I explained to the street department my concerns, the woman answering the phone said they’ve had crews out to look, but they “don’t have a solution at this time.”

Huh??

Sure, I’ve seen ’em out looking. But all they do is wave and drive by.

I asked if they couldn’t at least take a big sponge and sop up the water. No.

Couldn’t they hire a consultant to recommend an acceptable solution? No.

We pay taxes out here, hefty taxes, I pointed out. Sorry.

When I finally suggested calling the newspaper to have them investigate, she said, “I don’t know what they could do.”

I started back on the taxes and how much money the city throws away on useless consultants and the nastiness of the stagnant water and other stuff when I noticed she wasn’t there.

Probably laid the phone down and walked off.

Grrr, this makes me MAD!

And it doesn’t address our problem.

Anybody out there who’s succeeded in fighting city hall? I’d welcome your suggestions — and so would my neighbors.

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4 thoughts on “Save my Neighborhood…Please!

  1. In good times, you’d have a hard time getting them to spend the money to curb your street. These are not good times. I’m surprised there was somebody at the other end of the phone in the first place! Re mosquitoes, I hate the thought of all the stagnant pools in areas with lots of abandoned houses. Yuck!

    • Realistically, Lynne, I know you’re right. However, this situation has been going on for decades — many years of which the city was in the black and had plenty of workers to tackle the problem. So forgive me, but I’m unwilling to cut them any slack! During good times, we all tend to act as if it will never end; we should be more like the fable’s grasshopper and save up for “bad times,” then we won’t have to fret about empty larders!

  2. You know what “they” say Deb, the squeaking wheel gets the oil, so I say keep on squeaking –maybe they’ll get so tired of dealing with you that they’ll get creative and work on the solution. Good Luck!

    Kathy

    • I hope you’re right, Kathy, but my neighbors have been “squeaking” for years, to no avail! And when they can simply stop listening to you (without hanging up!) — even when you’re being polite! — well, it doesn’t look too promising. Maybe I can go hang out at their office ;)

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