By: Diane Benjamin
The neighborhood I went to yesterday is East of Evergreen Cemetery. It is adorable with many of the homes rehabbed which proves these residents care about their community. Many American flags were flying and lots of dogs where being walked.
This community also had basements wrecked with raw sewage. It wasn’t a 100 year event, it happened twice a week apart in the early 80’s, again in the late 90’s, and two days in a row last June. I spoke to residents who lost everything they had in their basements. These people actually use their basements, they had spent a lot of money making them beautiful. It’s now gone. Does the City realize their property values declined?
Long time residents have been told for decades the sewers would be fixed. Nothing has been done, the smell of sewer gas permeates the neighborhood for many blocks.
Alderman Donna Boelen went with me, we were told by many residents Ward 1 Alderman Jamie Mathy has a problem returning phone calls.
Raw sewage isn’t the only problem. The corner below was the scene of an accident TWO YEARS AGO. The fire hydrant doesn’t have any dirt around the base. The sidewalk was damaged and never fixed. The barricades are now covered in viney weeds. The road grate was stuffed with leaves, evidently the locals have to clean those.
But there is more. These pictures are of a hole that formed in the road during the June floods. It keeps expanding. The barricade is still there, but fixing it evidently isn’t a priority. How big does it have to get? Is the barricade a permanent addition to the neighborhood like the two above?
One more problem. The area has been plagued with crime to homes and vehicles. The alley below needs a light, the City owns it. One resident was told it would be illegal for the residents to do it themselves:
Maybe Jamie can make it to this part of his Ward and help these people. The entire area just wants to know when the sewers will be fixed. I don’t see how the retention basin at the library is going to help them, water runs downhill directly at their homes from multiple directions. The library retention pond is even farther downhill. Basements had raw sewage even if they were on higher ground than neighbors because of the pressure in the system since sewage and storm water are together.
The City is receiving MILLIONS of DOLLARS in COVID relief. That money must be spent on fixing the health hazards in this neighborhood. How the Council decides to spend this money will PROVE who cares about citizens and who just wants “progress” to utopia as they see it.
I will be watching the self proclaimed progressive Jamie Mathy.