TAYLOR (WWJ) – Homeowners in one Downriver community are fed up with the state of their neighborhood.

Residents on Oldham Street in Taylor, west of Telegraph near Van Born, say their problems can be traced to one neighbor’s yard, which is littered with piles of garbage and apparently home to a rat infestation.

“It’s terrible. The stench is getting bad, especially on the hot days like this past week,” said Al Verhelle, who lives next door to the so-called problem home. “I don’t know what, but something has to be done. My brother-in-law came over and said ‘Well, why don’t you just throw some gas on it and burn it up?’ I said I can’t do that. But that’s what should happen to it if he’s not going to clean it up.”

“You go back there and you can see rats running all over,” said Verhelle’s wife, Ann.

The city has ticketed the homeowner several times, according to Verhelle, but neighbors haven’t noticed any improvement on the property.

“We’ve been trying to get him to clean it up. He’s a very unfriendly person so I did not approach him personally,” said Verhelle. “I’ve been to the city hall twice, my wife called five times and they told us he’s been ticketed 25 times but I don’t know over what period that is. Nothing has been done. He hasn’t even lived there in, what, six months probably.”

The Verhelles are hoping the city will force some kind of action on their neighbor, since a simple ticket doesn’t seem to be having any effect.

The homeowner didn’t answer the door, and calls to the city for comment weren’t immediately returned.


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