12 ON YOUR SIDE: Byrd Park residents concerned about damaged wall

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Fear and frustration prompt some Byrd Park residents to call 12. A wall, in Byrd Park Court, is losing brick and mortar. Residents say it's unstable and wobbly, and only a matter of time before a park visitor or a child playing, gets hurt.

12 On Your Side met one of those concerned neighbors at the wall.

Gordon Bass and his neighbors feel the city has put up another wall, with all the push back over repair costs. They want the broken and ugly structure fixed now. But, today, the city said, it's not going to happen.

There are two sides to every wall, and this wall is cracked and crumbling on both sides.

"Look how loose that is," said Bass. "It could fall out and hit somebody on the head."

Bass lives in Byrd Park in the circle of 17 homes built in the 1920's. Last summer, a hit and run driver crashed the entrance, and Bass says the city refuses to fix it.

"They just don't think this is very important. It's just not high enough on their list of things to do, and I'm not high enough on the food chain to get anything done."

Byrd Park in Richmond's near West End is one of the city's most popular places. It's on the national register of historic places.

Residents are puzzled even more so, after Council Vice President Ellen Robertsons' aggressive move to hold individuals responsible for their derelict property. They ask the same for city-owned structures.

"I want the city to come and take care of their property. Somebody walking along could lean up against that. Bricks could fall on them. They'd sue the city. They can't sue us because we don't own the wall."

A City Public Works spokesperson said an engineer found no safety issues with the damaged wall, and there is no time frame for repairs because the city doesn't have the money. To Bass, it's passing the buck.

"They are. They are. We got an estimate it will cost $35,000, which is like one of those toilets in space or a hammer for the military which costs a thousand dollars."

Before the car hit it, residents got their own estimate - $3,200.

"Seven or eight years ago, we repaired some of the bricks. We did it all. It needs more help than we're able to give it now."

The city says it wants to give the wall to the residents, but they would have to form a homeowner's association. Some residents dislike that idea and believe the city should maintain its own property.

Neither side is ready to budge.

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