By Donna Westfall – December 9, 2018 –
The owners were set to move in after tenants moved out in April, 2018. However, eight days before moving in, the next door neighbor, spotted a fire. His family made sure everybody was out of the structure and the fire department was called. Fire crews arrived around 3:30 in the afternoon of March 20th and stayed battling the blaze and remained on the scene until 8:30 that night. But then with all the trash and the fire; the owners and her two kids had no place to call home.
Fast forward nine months later. Supervisor 1st District, Roger Gitlin learns from Code Enforcement Officer, Dominic Mello, that trash is strewn around the private property located on Cummins Road and needs to be cleaned up.
Gitlin went into action. Initially scheduling it for a Take-a Bite-out-of-Blight January 2019 clean-up to avoid the rains. Except, at an awards banquet, a couple, Charlotte and Thomas Svolos spoke up and said that they were ready to get to work in December. That’s all Gitlin needed to hear. December it was and fortunately it rained the evening of December 7th and was clear Saturday morning, December 8th. Thus, the 42nd community clean-up was underway. These clean-ups do not cost the county one dime. Everything is donated and everybody volunteers their time.
Trying to find this property was not easy. Only a small portion of the road was paved. The rest was filled with plenty of water filled potholes. Still, people showed up, grabbed black plastic bags, shovels and other tools and off we went picking and scooping up trash.
Within the hour, Gregg Cetnar drove in his skip loader and we all lined up to watch as he cleared the biggest piles of trash from around the yard.
The owners and her two sons also arrived and joined the clean up. When I introduced myself to her, she gave me a big hug and with tears in her eyes said, “I am so grateful to everyone for all your help. Roger Gitlin, Dominic Mello, Dave Mason, Greg Cetnar, Bob Berkowitz and all the volunteers. They made an unbelievable difference in the yard. Just absolute miracle workers. Thank you so much!”