OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A metro man says he is stuck with a $3,000 bill from the city after his neighbors kept illegally dumping trash onto his property. He claims he’s tried to stop it, but can’t get any help.
“I’m at my wits end,” 63-year-old William Murphy said.
It’s been a frustrating summer for Murphy. He owns a vacant lot not far from Reno and Villa avenues, but he said the trash you see in the pictures isn’t his.
“Very frustrated,” he said.
The land once belonged to Murphy’s grandparents, and they used to have a home there. When it became too dilapidated to keep up with, he said he had it torn down, but kept the land.
“I’ve been keeping the lot cleaned and mowed and just maintaining and paying taxes on it,” he said.
The only problem is, he said his neighbors keep using it as a dump.
“I’ve tolerated it for years because the city has always picked it up,” Murphy said.
The city said the trash shouldn’t have been picked up because there’s no home or service to one on the land. However, Murphy tells KFOR it was getting picked up.
“I’ve never had a problem not being picked up,” he said.
In May, Murphy got a notice of violation for the garbage. He said a city inspector told him the trash wouldn’t be picked up despite the city doing so in the past. Over time, more garbage was added. Murphy hoped it would be taken away on big trash day, but it wasn’t.
“The pile had grown to be 10, 20 times bigger than initially was because they kept adding to it and adding to it,” he said.
He’s called the police department, the sheriff’s office and even the city. However, Murphy couldn’t get any help.
“There’s not much they can do right now,” he said.
He claims to have called the police department as he was watching his neighbors dump trash on his property. However, he said he was told they were in the middle of a shift change and it would take a bit for an officer to get to him. He said one came an hour later, but told him they couldn’t help him. The sheriff’s office told him they couldn’t help due to it being in city limits. The pile eventually got picked up in June, but a hefty near $3,000 bill followed in mid-July. Now he faces paying for what he said is illegal dumping on his property with no where to turn.
“I’m disappointed in the city letting me down when I call for help,” he said. “I just feel like, you know something, somebody ought to be able to do something about it, you know, send somebody out to straighten it out.”
KFOR reached out to the city for comment on the situation:
“We understand the frustration our residents have when people illegally dump trash on their property. It’s a problem all over the City. However, it’s the property owner’s responsibility to remove trash dumped on their land. Because the property owner left it there for so long we hired a contractor to remove it. When trash is left on a property it reduces everyone’s property values around it and becomes an eye-sore for the neighborhood.“City of Oklahoma City