HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) - An old strip mall is giving one Huntsville homeowner a headache. She's not bothered by the empty buildings or vacant lots. Karen Church doesn't like what one of the old businesses left behind. She emailed WHNT NEWS 19 about standing water.
She's not talking about a small a puddle. Church has seen the water fill up an old loading dock big enough to fit an 18-wheeler. She's worried the standing water will attract disease-carrying bugs or pose a dangerous situation if anyone fell into the loading dock. She got the business owner to remove the dirty water in the past.
Remember, the business is gone. Who moves the water now?
"I don't want to have to look at the eyesore," said Church.
Church owns a home behind North Memorial Parkway. It's only a few feet away from the loading dock in question.
"This is a cesspool that is most of the time filled to the brim with brown and dirty water with animals floating in it, frogs jumping in and out of it," added Church.
Church talks about why she's so concerned.
"It is so close to my property. It is within three feet of my back fence. I've seen pedestrians back here and kids. It is a health hazard. I don't like the snakes, frogs and nasty trash floating,' added Church.
Church has seen lots of businesses come and go in her neighborhood. She used to simply call the one outside her back door to drain the loading dock and be happy. The smiles are now gone.
"It's like you say, taking action. No one wants to take the action to put permanent fix," added Church.
She's kept a straight face, stayed cool and called the city of Huntsville asking for help.
"It's just a Band-Aid. We will pour some chemicals in for the mosquitoes. That seems to be the only thing," added Church.
Church is not ready to praise the city. She wants someone to take ownership.
"I have to call every time. Every time it rains and it's full. If it was more visible to the Parkway and people driving by could see this just feet from the Parkway, everyone in town would have issue with it," added Church.
WHNT NEWS 19 got to thinking, who owns the property and do they know about their neighbor's problem?
The loading dock is behind the building near Church's home, so WHNT NEWS 19 called this company to find the owner. Scott McLain, a name listed on a realtor sign, was out-of-town and unavailable. He suggested WHNT NEWS 19 call Gloria Robertson. WHNT NEWS 19 contacted her. She replied through email, but wouldn't identify who owned any of the property. WHNT NEWS 19 did find the owner and called him.
The owner insists he doing everything he can and Ms. Church is hard to please.
"We keep taking the water out and she always complains about it. She's never fine with it," added Mahmoud Arafat.
Arafat told WHNT NEWS 19 he's even had a pest control company go out and put a chemical in the water to keep away mosquitoes. Church is fine seeing the loading dock drained. She just doesn't want to make the call every time the loading dock needs draining.