Brownsville Resident Fears Trash Could be Life Threatening

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BROWNSVILLE – A Brownsville man is asking the city to step up their efforts and clean an alley next to his home.

Resident Jimmy Silva said otherwise, it could lead to a life threatening situation. The 76-year-old has a pacemaker to help keep his heart on track.

He said he doesn't take any chances when he feels sick, so he calls an ambulance about once a month. 

Silva, whose home faces an alley, said an ambulance recently had trouble getting to him.

"The last time they came, they couldn't get in to the alley," he said. "So I had to walk to the street so that I could get into the ambulance."

According to Brownsville Fire Department officials, ambulances avoid driving through alleys because they are narrow.

Silva fears he may not get the help he needs during a serious medical emergency. 

"I'm very, very disappointed in the city of Brownsville, that they don't do what they are getting paid to do," Silva said.

When asked how often he sees city crews working to clear the alley, he said, "Never. Never. Once in a while the city trucks will pass."

City of Brownsville Spokeswoman Roxanna Rosas told CHANNEL 5 NEWS crews received Silva's complaint a week ago. The city, as per ordinance, has 72 hours to make contact with the person making the complaint, she said.

They are working with Silva to ensure his safety, Rosas added.

"Our public health department has also issued notices to comply to neighboring homes," Rosas said, "to do their part, and make sure they clean up any illegal dumping in the alleyway."

The alley serves as an easement for utility vehicles. Not even brush should be put out in the alley.

Rosas said illegal dumpers could be fined.

"Residents are encouraged to leave their brush on the corner of their property," she said.

City crews have already made some leeway in clearing the alley.

"The city wouldn't listen to me," Silva said, "so, I called CHANNEL 5 NEWS, and finally I got this done."

He's looking forward to all of the piles of brush and debris to be completely gone, so he can feel safer at home.


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