Sunday, March 29, 2009

St. Louis County Helps Wellston Clean Up Trash


St. Louis County Health Department is stepping in to help the City of Wellston, after declaring the Lulu Heights subdivision a health hazard."

A lot of the properties there obviously are abandoned and a significant number of them need to be demolished and these are havens for illegal dumping," said the agency's director, Delores Gunn, after touring the site with her staff recently.

25 people have joined his pledge to provide labor, city manager Janice Trigg said.

Residents caught one man dumping old furniture, mattresses and bags of trash. Residents said they gave the license number to the city.

But Wellston, an impoverished community of 2,400, has few resources, officials said. Said McNeil, "We are trying to get every dollar we can just to try to keep the lights on." The city lacks industry. McNeil said when a General Electric facility left town, so did $70,000 in revenue.Illegal dumping in Wellston is a misdemeanor with a fine of $1,000. Last year, two people were charged with illegal dumping and fined $1,000, according to Trigg.

McNeil rode along on the county officials' tour and said the others "couldn't hardly believe the things that they saw." Gunn said the county is offering help with something that ordinarily would be the municipality's problem. "Basically what's been happening is illegal dumping of waste and trash, obviously all around the alleyways and in front of properties.

"She said a recent complaint from the city was the first she heard of it, so she sent an investigator. "Once we did, we also got a call from Normandy High School for assistance," she said.She said the city was asked to at least move some of the mess away from behind the school, in the 1500 block of Lulu Avenue, as a public health issue. An overflowing Dumpster now sits behind the school, amid the trash in adjoining yards.

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