City officials step in to answer neighbors’ plea for blight clean up in Pontiac

City wants to figure out who, why someone was doing illegal dumping

PONTIAC, Mich. – Illegal dumping is a problem neighbors on one Pontiac street have been complaining about for more than a year. Now, the city is getting involved.

In what appeared to be an alley near the M1 Concourse between businesses and homes were dozens of bottles and cans spread across the grass along with trash bags of food, clothes, a rocking chair, part of a sink, and even cushions.

People who lived nearby were sick of it.

“It makes no sense to me,” said one neighbor. “It’s trifling. I drive through here three or four times a week because I patronize a store, and I see this, and I shake my head.”

Another neighbor was worried about how it would impact their home next door.

“The smell in the summer, the bugs,” said another neighbor.

Neighbors say some of the trash had been in the area for a year, and it’s been worse with mattresses and tires, but some neighbors tried to clean it up occasionally.

The property is just a few yards from a dumpster and the street where garbage was picked up.

The city has gotten involved and wants to figure out who and why someone is doing the illegal dumping.

“Pontiac people don’t dump on other Pontiac people’s property, so some of our concern is that this dumping might be coming from people from other communities thinking that they can come into Pontiac and dump their extra items,” said Code Enforcement Manager Jack McIntyre.

McIntyre said they looked into it, and that specific property was private. They’ve contacted the owners, letting them know they were responsible for the clean-up and keeping illegal dumping away, but got no response.

“We wrote them a court ticket, we went to the district court, they didn’t show up in court,” McIntyre said. “So now we’re at the process where we’re asking for a default judgment from the judge to enter the property, clean it up, and then it would be at the cost of the private property owner.”

Pontiac Mayor Tim Greimel said the city has ramped up efforts to combat blight.

“We’ve doubled our code enforcement personnel so that we can have inspectors out on a day-to-day basis identifying challenges and just making sure that we’re trying to tackle blight in every way possible to improve the quality of life for our residents because our residents are fed up,” said Greimel.

If you witness someone illegally dumping trash in Pontiac or know of a location with blight or illegal trash buildup, you’re asked to call the code enforcement department directly at 248-758-2832.

About the Author:

Megan Woods is thrilled to be back home and reporting at Local 4. She joined the team in September 2021. Before returning to Michigan, Megan reported at stations across the country including Northern Michigan, Southwest Louisiana and a sister station in Southwest Virginia.