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Alamo City Officials Pledge to Clean Up Debris at Unwanted Storage Site

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ALAMO – A Hidalgo County family said they’re bothered by an unwanted neighbor.

The Martinez’s driveway is steps away from an abandoned water treatment plant, which now operates as a materials storage site for the city.

“It's just not very pretty to look at. Large debris, they said it was only brush,” said Lauren Martinez. “It's not been only brush. We've witnessed, just in the short time we've been here, ripped up streets. It's hard to tell."

Martinez said she sweeps her doorstep and wipes down the home’s windows every day.

“We clean daily and it is still layers of dust and dirt that comes in,” she said.

Lauren's mother and father-in-law lived through the problems for more than a decade.  

“What's going to be done?” she asked. “Can we stop this? Do they care that we are breathing this in? Not just us, but the people surrounding this entire area?”

Heavy machinery rumbled across the site today. Alamo city manager Luciano Ozuna Jr. said they are taking the family's complaint seriously. 

“I don't want dust coming into my home and certainly wouldn't want anyone else to have that as a problem,” he said.

Ozuna said the site backs up to homes and is across the street from an educational facility.  

“We have been storing materials there such as caliche and asphalt, that's to maintain some of the streets throughout the city,” he explained.

There is nothing to keep dust from flying through a chain-link fence at the site, but Ozuna said they’re taking action.

"I talked to the public works director today and he told me they were moving all that material out of there today,” he said. “Once they do that, they will spread some water out there; some emulsion on top of it so that it will let the dust down.”

Ozuna said the city allowed contractors to dump materials at the site. He said that will change as everything is moved out.  

“We'll have that material dumped at another place,” he added.

The materials should be cleared out by Friday afternoon. But the Martinez family is still a bit skeptical.

“I really appreciate it and I hope their actions follow their words, because they haven't for the last few years,” Martinez said.

Ozuna said the city's long-term plans for the site are to use it as a neighborhood park, though it could take a couple of years to complete.  

If you live in Alamo, there are ways you can report these types of things. You can call the Public Works Department to report anything from debris to potholes at 956-787-8321.

You can also go to city hall at 420 North Tower Road to fill out a complaint form in the city manager's office.

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