Trash or Treasure Part One
By Dan Breitwieser, WCJB TV 20 News.
Over the next three nights, we'll take you through the process, show us some of the worst properties, and tell us if you are a neighbor, how you can fight it.
You can take a leisurely stroll down any one of a number of streets in Gainesville where well-trimmed and nice homes sit next door to a home that someone has turned into their personal garbage dump. So what can you do?
With the birds are chirping, it both sounds and looks like a jungle. But this isn't the Amazon, it's a home in Gainesville in the Stephen Foster neighborhood. Junk cars with junk piled high, leaving only enough room for a driver to sit. And despite a 'for sale' sign...there's no telling when anything left this property. We can't even make it to the front door to see if anyone is home.
Neighbors that live nearby say it's something that's gets worse day by day. Robbi Amos moved in to a rental across the street three and a half years ago.
"I've seen raccoons, snakes, armadillos, rats, some big rats," says Amos.
A quick tour around the mailbox reveals a potted plant, a pinwheel, some beach balls, soccer balls, a football. On top of the mailbox, there's a popsicle stick, a car mat, and a horse. And we haven't even gotten to the house yet.
The property has almost 14-thousand dollars of accumulating fines. But a homestead exemption keeps the city from being able to foreclose no matter how high the fines get. Unlike an abandoned property next door that was considered dangerous and demolished about a month ago.
Amos wishes the city could come in and help clean up for people like her neighbor who don't have the money or the health to clear it themselves.
"I wish they would say, okay, we will help you," says Amos. "But I don't think that will happen."
Amos is right, the city won't come in for free and help people clear their property. But there are things you can do.
Tuesday, we'll tell you about who can become your best friend if you have an eyesore in your neighborhood.
- Trash or Treasure? Part Two
- Trash or Treasure Part Three
- A Grave Situation - Part One
- Biomass or Bio-Mess? Part One: The Basics
- One Family's Fight Against AvMed Part 2
- The State of Real Estate Part One
- Alternative Medicine: Allergies, Part One
- Dan's Day Trips Part One
- Help for Haiti Part One
- A Lost Treasure On Fifth Avenue