DENISON, TX -- A disabled Denison homeowner says he's stuck cleaning up a huge mess, that he didn't make. Trash and other junk is piled up just feet from his property. It's not on his land, but he says it's close enough to be a health hazard and he wants it gone.
Tim Redford moved into his home about a month ago. And after realizing just how much trash was piled up about 10 yards behind his house, he called the city to see what could be done to clean it up.
He says he was told, he'd have to move it himself.
Tim Redfor, and his son Fred, are trying to clean up the property behind Tim's house. But, looking at this mess, they say it'll take a while.
"There's old tires, appliances. There's all kinds of glass, insulation, wood, shingles, just toys, furniture, everything," Tim Redford said.
"We're getting all poked and scratched up and everything. And there's broken glass and everything out there," Fred said.
The pile of junk lies right behind the house, but not technically on Tim's property, or the city of Denison's.
"They was gonna find out whose property it was. Said that they could fine them every day, so much every day until it was cleaned up. Then they found out that the property used to belong to the railroad, but they abandoned it. So, they called it no man's land," Tim said.
Tim says the junk is both a fire hazard and health hazard, and he wants it gone. But, he's disabled and the mess isn't an easy task to tackle.
"This is difficult on me, trying to get this cleaned up, but I'm not going to live in junk," he said.
City Manager Robert Hanna says they don't want any resident to have to live in these conditions, but he says there's only so much the city can do.
"If it's not the city's property why should the city be cleaning it as well? The same argument that he's using works on behalf of the city," Hanna said. "I don't know who owns it. It's not owned by the city and it's the property owner's responsibility."
The city has brought a dumpster to Redford's land, and has agreed to haul it away, once it's full. Hanna says if Redford doesn't want to clean it up, the city will work with him to locate the property owner.
"We're interested in making sure that lots aren't used for garbage dumps, and we can work with him to identify the property owner," Hanna said.
Hanna says he plans on contacting Redford to resolve the situation. He says if necessary, the city will get the courts to make the rightful owner of the property clean it up, if they refuse to comply.