Updated 06/11/2012 09:12 PM
Oswego County declares New Haven home a public health nuisance
After nearly a year of seeking help to clean up a New Haven property that is overflowing with debris and rotting garbage, neighbors may have their first victory in the form of a board of health ruling. Our Candace Hopkins has more on the battle to clean up the eyesore that has been a problem for years.
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NEW HAVEN, N.Y. -- "It's filthy, horrible, nasty. Flies and maggots that are in the garbage there and mosquitoes."
It sounds like New Haven resident Donna Wilcox is describing a dump, but the property on Country Route 6 was actually someone's home up until last summer. The area is littered with debris and rotting garbage that neighbors say has fueled insect and rodent infestations.
For years, neighbors like Wilcox have been asking town and county officials to clean up the mess.
"This is not something that has just been overnight. It has been an ongoing battle for a couple of years, if not longer," said Wilcox.
When the owner of the property died last August, residents hoped his children would step in to clean the site. They haven't. But Monday morning, the Oswego County Board of Health took the first step toward a resolution, declaring the property a public health nuisance.
County officials say the property has been left abandoned since its owner died last summer and while the public health nuisance will allow them to clean up the household trash that remains on the outside of the mobile home, they won't be able to go on the inside. They say it is the Town of New Haven's job to deal with the other problems.
"The neighbors should not be disadvantaged by bureaucracy between governments, so the county is going to go ahead and clean up the household garbage. That should alleviate some concerns and fears about any health problems that could imminent from that property and it's our hope that the town will now step up," said Oswego County Administrator Philip Church.
The neighbors don't care who does it, but say there's only one solution to the problem.
"I would like to see everything inside and outside of the trailer carted away," said Wilcox.
That's a move they hope would wipe out this makeshift landfill once and for all.
County officials say they will begin removing the garbage from the property as soon as possible, but after that, it is up to the Town of New Haven to deal with the structural issues of the mobile home and the remaining debris.
The town code enforcement officer refused to comment for this story.