Crystal Citizens Concerned Over Garbage Dumping Behind Strip Mall
A garbage problem has citizens in Crystal concerned. They say the issue stems from people dumping garbage outside a local strip mall. Business owners say they are just as concerned as residents about the issue.
A concerned Crystal resident expressed her concern for the issue at Tuesday’s city council meeting. She brought photos as evidence of the dumping.
“The property is not only an eyesore, but in my opinion a potential health hazard,” said a concerned citizen at Crystal’s City Council meeting.
Dumping an Ongoing Problem
The strip mall is located at 5600 Bass Lake Road. The building is located in the middle of a residential area. City council members say this issue has been taking place for a while.
“It actually started about two years ago,” says Julie Deshler, Ward 4 Crystal City Council member. “A couple residents that live in the area have been concerned and contacted me about the amount of noise in the evening. They also were concerned about the large amount of litter coming off of this property constantly. They feel it’s not maintained.”
A Concern for Businesses Too
Business owners add that the public dumping has been a concern of theirs as well.
“So people come to the back of our business because it’s wide open all our dumpsters are right there and easy to get to,” says Laurence Searcy a business owner in the strip mall. “Whether they can get to the dumpsters or not it’s behind the building and they still dump trash back there. The city comes and blames us for it, and at the end of the day we end up being responsible for that.”
Laurence Searcy feels that Crystal residents and businesses need to communicate more about these issues, otherwise problems won’t be solved.
“The residents need to come talk to the business owners,” added Searcy. “We are a community business, this is a barber shop. It’s not like we are a private owned company we are for the community. We built this in the community, so we would expect the community to come talk to us if they have any concerns in regards to this property.”
City council members would like the property owner to take action on this issue.
“In Crystal we really like and appreciate our businesses,” added Deshler. “We want our businesses and our residents to live in harmony. We want both to just be fair and respectful of each other. So we are just pretty much trying to reach out to the property owner and say please mitigate the litter problem here. Have your property management company check on it a little bit more and be respectful of the neighborhood.”
Community, Businesses “Need to Work Together”
Businesses owners in the strip mall say the property owner isn’t to blame.
“I can’t really put the blame on him because it’s not really his fault that people dump trash,” says Searcy. “Obviously it’s more of a community thing. If we stop throwing trash and respect our businesses in the community I think it will fix the problem.”
Business owners like Searcy feel the only way the problem will be fixed, is if everyone works together to address the issue.
“We just have to come together as a community and as business owners and address the problem,” says Searcy. “If the city council has a problem with us, I feel like they should come sit down with us owners and figure out how we all can help the problem.”