Vegetation removed from alley

By Diane Walker - bio | email
Posted by Terry Alexander - email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - 12 On Your Side got the job done for an amputee who waited months for the city of Richmond to clean up its own property.

Weeds and brush from a city lot were obstructing the alley way which is the main way Jesse Oliver gets into his home. Jesse says he called the city in June about cutting back all the vegetation growing from its property and nothing happened.

We called public works, and aired Jesse's story last Tuesday. A couple days later, a crew was dispatched. That alley doesn't look the same anymore. Now the alleyway behind Jesse Oliver's home looks neatly trimmed. The thicket of brush and weeds extending from the city's vacant lot were gone in a matter of days.

"I was kind of shocked with the results. This was really fast action," said Jesse.

The now picture perfect scene was a hazard and a nuisance, just days ago. Here's a look back. The wheel chair bound veteran, who volunteers delivering bread to hospital vets and nursing homes was getting smacked in the face by the far reaching weeds. Driving thru the alley, his primary path to his home was challenging for the amputee.

"No more scratches on the van. I'll have to get a good polish job rubbing compound," said Jesse. "I am elated. I am more than pleased. It was much easier getting thru the alley. Yeah, much easier."

While the city responded quickly to our call, it declined an on camera explanation about why its own employees who frequently drive thru the alley didn't report the complaint themselves. And even on this day, when the city cleared its lot, there was no apparent attempt to explain dumping rules to neighboring property owners or get them to cut back vegetation.

"It's imperative that you take care of the back of your yard as you would the front and you wouldn't put all that trash that you have on your front, so what put it on the back," Jesse said.

Still, Jesse's glad he called 12.

"Yes, but I don't think they would have without 12 On Your Side," said Jesse.

The city does not maintain allies. Each property owner is responsible for cleaning the middle of the alley, to their property. To get your neighbor to follow the rules, call 646-0999. If the city cleans it up for them, they'll have to pay back the city.

(c) 2009. WWBT, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.