Alley complaints? They may fall on deaf ears

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) –City residents are tired of complaining about potholes in their alley between Douglasdale Road and Condie Street. One hole is more than six inches deep.

One hole is more than six inches deep.

“We have potholes galore back there,” says Jennie Bandas who’s home backs up to the alley.

74A4786F396C4C5E991FAC1CBF9F15DD Neighbor Brad Kutner added, “This is not a new problem.” He says he’s called the city, and others have posted photos to the City’s SeeClickFix website.

“It is very difficult to drive your car down there,” Bandas added.

Beyond that, neighbors worry the massive pot holes filled with water are now a breeding ground for mosquitoes.

“This lines things up for mosquitoes,” says Kutner.

With the Zika virus now to worry about in addition to the West Nile virus, and on same day Mayor Dwight Jones held a new conference urging residents to clean up standing bodies of water on their property, these neighbors are urging the city to do the same.

“Everybody is at risk if we have standing water,” says Bandas.

But 8News has unocovered getting a city crew out to the alley may be a challenge. On the See Click Fix site, we can see the city has been bombarded with complaints about conditions in alleys. About a dozen complaints have yet to be addressed.

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Earlier this week. John Buturla, Deputy Chief Administrative Officer for Operations, admitted to City Council that the Department of Public Works is understaffed down 139 positions and “woefully behind in maintenance.”

Bandas points to her neighbors home and tells 8Nnews, “this neighbor has called multiple times to city, and we never get any good responses.”

Late Friday, a spokesperson for DPW told us: “We are not doing alley maintenance per our usual annual program.  Alley maintenance will be done sporadically.”

The last time the city worked on this alley more than two years ago.

“There are other things that we get taken care of pretty quickly, but I have been surprised to see the level of disregard at this alley in particular,” says Kutner.

Perhaps some good news for residents: Council has proposed $311,000 in next year’s budget to help DPW fill its vacancies.

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