Northeast neighborhood leaders speak to City Council regarding criminal scrappers, saying history is being ‘scraped away from us’

 

 

Man hauling metal in shopping cart. PHOTO/Mike Bushnell

Man hauling metal in shopping cart. PHOTO/Mike Bushnell

 

Mary Cyr, Director of Northeast Alliance Together (NEAT) spoke at the City Council’s Neighborhoods and Public Safety Committee today, saying the scrap metal ordinance is important to the Historic Northeast community because vacant homes are prey to criminal scrappers, resulting in them not being feasible rehab projects and are ultimately demolished.

“We don’t need anymore vacant lots in the Northeast,” Cyr said. “It gives the idea that it’s not a prosperous or desirous community to live in.”

12th Street Recycling has implemented rules on no walk-ins as well as a ban on selling burnt copper wire, but several individuals expressed concerns that showing identification when selling items was not being enforced.

Robert Ortman, the Vice President of the Lykins Neighborhood said this issue is causing the history of the HNE to be “scraped away from us” and the history and character of the neighborhood is being lost. He urged the council to “put teeth to the measure” and said the cash-only portion of the ordinance would only be inconveniencing the criminals scrappers.

Residents stated they will frequently see people walking down the roads of their neighborhoods with shopping carts full of scrap metal, frustrated that this is happening in their own backyards.

A question was posed by the Secretary of the Independence Plaza Neighborhood, Laura Remy, asking if neighborhoods and scrapyards can coexist. She also brought up the issue of what it costs the city to put out fires if a house begins to burn down, as well as the price tag associated with demolition.

“The ultimate goal is to protect our neighborhoods,” she said.

Full story on this topic in next week’s issue of the Northeast News (delivered December 19th).

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