Madison County Health Department responds to neighbors' concerns about trash build-up

WAAY 31 learned the homeowner could face big fines if the problem isn't fixed.

Posted: Apr 29, 2019 7:28 PM
Updated: Apr 30, 2019 7:21 PM

UPDATE: (4/30/19 at 6:15 p.m.)

Neighbors in New Market are still dealing with a giant eyesore outside their homes. WAAY 31 learned on Tuesday that the homeowner could face big fines if the problem isn't fixed.

The Madison County Health Department said it visited the house for the first time on Tuesday, and it will be issuing a health code violation notice.

The Solid Waste division of the health department said the homeowner has violated code by not placing the trash in a dumpster. The health department will send a notice to the homeowner, giving him or her 10 days to resolve the issue. If they don't, the health department can take them to court.

Neighbors said finally having some type of answer makes them hopeful the smell and trash will soon be gone.

"Now that they finally came out here and saw what we are dealing with, I'm glad they are going to take action and fix this for our community," said Hannah Bradford, who lives near the house.

Now, if the problem is not corrected and the homeowner is found guilty of a health law violation, the penalty is anywhere from $25 to $500 dollars a day until the problem is fixed.

The health department said it hopes the issue is resolved in the next 10 days.

Neighbors told WAAY 31 about rats and termites at the garbage. We're told, if neighbors want something done about that, they need to contact another division of the health department, the vector division.

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A Madison County neighborhood is dealing with some trash trouble that's leaving behind a bad smell.

Neighbors said a company bought an abandoned house in their New Market neighborhood and started cleaning up, but now they are dumping everything on the road.

A Madison County District One worker was out in the neighborhood on Monday cleaning up a pile of trash left by the road.

Neighbors said what's inside this home on Green Meadow Drive, and under the tarp, is far more trash than what's been picked up. They're worried as it continues to sit, the smell it's leaving behind will get much worse.

"When I'm sitting in my living room and I smell it across the street, it's bad," said Bud Gambrell, a neighbor. "They went in the house in hazmat suits and covered from head to toe. I guess because of the filth and thinking it was that filthy that they need hazmat suits."

He explained what one of his neighbors saw when a clean-up crew took them inside.

"Piles of trash, rats, I believe they said they saw termites, cobwebs that were just everywhere, Mountain Dew bottles filled with human urine. It's unbelievable how nasty it is," he said.

Neighbors say a crew has been taking that stuff and putting it outside.

"Under that tarp, it's cooking right now. All that filth, it's going to be worse," he said.

WAAY 31 called Mortgage Contracting Services who has posted no trespassing signs on the home, but was told no one could talk about the home. The sign gives two phone numbers for anyone who needs to contact them about city or county code violations. Neighbors say this frustrates and confuses them.

"It almost seems like an admission of guilt, like, 'We know we've done something wrong.' How could you not? You went in with a hazmat suit and you dumped it out in the driveway. I don't understand how you think that's okay," he said.

Now, neighbors are looking for someone to provide them answers as to what is going on, and if the clean up is following code.

"I want to see it cleaned up in a proper way. You can't just dump toxic waste out in the yard and out in the middle of the street. Some of those bags of garbage have been out there for two weeks," he said.

WAAY 31 has reached out to the Madison County Administrator along with the Health Department to find out what's being done to resolve the issue. We are still waiting to hear back.

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