Wayne "Skip" Dean's cockroach crusade is creating some discussion for members of City Council.
While tenants were moving out of a Ninth Street home in July, so were a large number of cockroaches, according to Dean, a resident living close to the affected area. The cockroaches then spread to neighboring homes. Seeking a solution, area residents have been using a variety of sprays, lime and Borax to protect their homes.
"The bottom line here is the city has got to put something in place. It's got to be brought out in the open that this is real, and people do end up like this," Dean said.
Dean, along with other residents also affected by the cockroach problem, have been attending City Council committee meetings looking for help in dealing with the situation.
"We had some pretty irate residents that live close to 46 W. Ninth St. that requested an update on the Department of Development's actions on that property," said Paul Whitford, D-Ward 6, chairman of the Housing Committee.
The home in question is currently posted not to be occupied due to the conditions and the bug problems.
"Bill (Jones, city code enforcement rehab specialist,) said that it's going to have to sit. They've done a couple of treatments and it's going to have to sit for three months. According to the people that were at the meeting Monday night, (the cockroaches) are still running all over," said Gregory Moran, rehab and code enforcement officer.
Upon doing research, Dean found a situation similar to the one residents are currently dealing with, which he presented to the Housing Committee on Monday.
"I've done a little digging around. There were a couple of years where they had a problem like this up on Chapin Street," Dean said. "What had happened was basically the same kind of problem. The owner of the house ended up paying to have fumigations done to other houses."
During the City Council work session on Monday, Whitford brought this information to the rest of the council for discussion. Whitford explained to the council that the residents had taken the homeowner to small-claims court, at which time the person owning the home that caused the problem was found to be liable for their damages.
"So, that was our suggestion to them," Whitford said. "Councilman Szwejbka kind of indicated that we should work on Corporate Council to see if we can develop some language that will take care of this in the future. It would hold them liable for damages of outlying properties. We are going to take a look at that. As far as the Department of Development, they have done everything that they could possibly do under their legal rights."
George Spitale, D-At Large, agreed at the work session that wording should be put into place to hold home owners accountable in future situations.
Whitford said the committee will keep on top of the problem, and the rest of the council will be kept up to date by email on any new development on the property.