The City of Decatur and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office are working together to make sure items left behind from evictions are cleaned up quicker.
This comes after a story we covered last month where a woman’s belongings were strewn all over a neighborhood for about two weeks, causing a real eyesore for neighbors.
WAAY 31 learned what those neighbors think about the city’s plans.
“When I saw all of that trash right there, man, it smelled horrible," Geno Salazar said. "It smelled like just straight garbage. I’m from Chicago and, up there, you’d go by the garbage truck and that’s exactly what it smelled like.”
Geno Salazar lives a couple of doors down from where a woman was evicted back in July. Her personal belongings stayed out on the lawn for days.
“It was just a nuisance, because there would be flies going to the back of my house," Salazar said. "If I wanted to go outside, there would be flies all around and nobody wants to get touched by flies.”
Then, it was unclear who was responsible for cleaning up the mess; but, now, the City of Decatur and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office are teaming up to ensure something like this doesn’t happen again.
The sheriff’s office told WAAY 31 they will notify the City’s Street & Environmental Services Department when an eviction is about to occur, so they can then decide what needs to happen with the items.
The teamwork is something Salazar was happy to hear about.
“They should have better communication so they can figure out whose problem it is," he said. "I think it’s a good thing for the community and for everybody who’s living around here.”
One of the options is for the city to come pick up the debris, but they say they will have to charge the landlord for each load if the complex uses a dumpster service.
“A $100 fee, I think that’s reasonable," Salazar said.
There is no set timeframe on when items from an eviction must be picked up. The city says they will give folks about a day to pick up their belongings, and then they would come out if anything is left.
City officials and community members alike are hoping the new plan will keep the community cleaner.
“If this plan works, I think it will make me want to live in Decatur longer," Salazar said. "I think it’s going to work. I’m hopeful for the future.”