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City plans to build alleyway to prevent illegal dumping in KCMO neighborhood

Posted at 5:23 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 19:01:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The city is planning to build an alleyway in the Westside neighborhood to prevent illegal dumping. 

“Nobody wants to look at that mess for that long,” Harry Romero, a Westside resident, told 41 Action News Wednesday. 

Romero said the city only stops by the illegal dump spot near 21st and Holly streets when trash clogs up one of its sewers.

“But other than that, like I said, they don’t really do too much,” Romero said.

41 Action News first told you about the problem area back in 2015. 

It’s a so-called “paper street” because at one point the city had planned to build a street at the site, but never did.

The following year, the city told 41 Action News they had set aside funds for improvement to the neighborhood, but nothing was done, frustrating Romero then — and still to this day.

“People come around from the city who tell you, ‘You got to pick up this in your yard. You got to fix this in your house,' or you get a letter and you have to go to court. But yet at the same time when you call and tell the city there’s a mess out here they take forever to respond or do anything about it,” Romero said. 

KCMO Public Works Department said Wednesday they’ll pave an 11-foot wide alleyway over the dump site using Public Improvements Advisory Committee (PIAC) funds.

“We’re really just looking forward to offering some solutions to that neighborhood but also offering an access point in the process, and hopefully deterring some of that illegal dumping that goes on,” Beth Breitenstein, a spokesperson for KCMO Public Works, said.

As to why it's taken three years to get this project off the ground? Money and timing.

“Anytime that we’re constructing, that requires funding. You have to have the funding allocation, but you have to wait for the right season and the right timing for weather,” Breitenstein said.

“I’m glad to hear that they’re going to do something about it and paving it would help a lot, but as far as the access from here down to there and bringing traffic through — I think that may cause more headaches to people,” Romero said. 

If the weather cooperates, the city said they plan to start the project on Monday. It’ll take five days to complete.