Several Mercedes Departments Spearheading Cleanup Efforts

Posted: Updated: Apr 28, 2017 06:10 PM

MERCEDES – City and county officials are working to clean up an area where two venomous snakes were recently found.

Cesar Del Fuente called CHANNEL 5 NEWS after his wife discovered a coral snake in their backyard. He said it wasn’t the first time.

He said the snakes live in the debris behind his backyard.

The Mercedes Housing Authorities, the city of Mercedes and Hidalgo County Drainage District Number One said the cleanup effort will require coordination.

Del Fuente said officials haven’t exactly fixed the problem.

“They cleaned 45 feet,” he said.

Del Fuente said there is still a large amount of brush for the snakes to live. He and his neighbors are still concerned for their safety.

We spoke to the city of Mercedes to find out why they hadn’t cleaned all of the brush. Assistant city manager Daniel Tijerina said the city’s equipment wasn’t properly equipped for the job.

He referred us to the Hidalgo County Drainage District Number One General Manager Raul Sasin.

“It’s impossible to get the equipment in there without having to move the fence and everything,” he said.

Sasin said the county has the correct tools but no access. The fence belongs to the city of Mercedes Housing Authority. So we spoke to Horacio Pequeno, the executive director of the Mercedes Housing Authority, to see what could be done about the fence.

“Yes, as far as the housing authority, we are committed to helping the city out. And we are committed to the county. If they need access to that ditch, then we are ready to come in and take down that fence, so they can have access to come in and remove the brush that’s behind these units here,” he said.

We were at the site when all three departments met. The leaders were able to come up with a solution. The city will start the next cleanup effort this weekend, and all parties involved agree the issue will be resolved.

Del Fuente said he won’t let up until the cleanup is completed.

“There was an agreement here. And if this agreement isn’t fulfilled from what was discussed today, I will take matters into my own hands and take it up the chain of command so this ditch can get cleaned up,” he said.

All three parties agree the issue will be resolved quickly.

Del Fuente said he still isn’t letting his children in the backyard until all of the debris is cleared.