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Residents in KCMO's Westside neighborhood upset about illegal dump site called 'paper street'

Posted: 2:14 PM, Apr 20, 2015
Updated: 2018-03-28 11:34:42-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Residents in the Westside neighborhood are waiting for the city to clean up an illegal dumping spot that they own.

Decades ago the city planners designated an area from 21st to 23rd street near Observation Park to become a street.

The area was never developed and was dubbed a “paper street" - a street that only exists on paper.

Now, it's overrun by trash, and residents are frustrated with the city.
 
“People don't feel safe when there's this huge eyesore here, and just the quality of life decreases, morale is low,” said Westside resident Paul Gutierrez.

Volunteers have done some work to keep the area tidy but the large amount of debris and garbage is too much. 

On Friday, Kansas City’s Department of Public Works told 41 Action News they planned to send crews to clean up depending on the weather.

“We were thrilled. I called a couple of residents here they were completely shocked about how quickly they responded to our request,” Gutierrez said.

The city is currently reviewing options to prevent illegal dumping in the future.

“We're also talking with community services to look at the possibility of installing some cameras to see what could be done for illegal dumpers early on,” said Sean Demory, a KCMO Public Works spokesperson.

Demory also said if residents know of a "paper street" in the city to call 311 and file a complaint so the city can take action.

“We continue to work with the neighborhood a lot of these locations are out of the way they're in location we don't necessarily going to see on a regular basis so unless we get a tip from the neighbors unless we get that additional pair of eyes on the ground we don't necessarily know that or know what needs to be done immediately,” he said.

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[Editor's note: In the interest of full disclosure, it should be noted that Westside resident Paul Gutierrez is not related to the reporter for this story.]

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Andres Gutierrez can be reached at  andres.gutierrez@kshb.com

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