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'It's not working.' Tax payers question 311 service requests

Posted at 6:08 PM, Aug 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-17 11:59:21-04

BALTIMORE — WMAR-2 News has been following the status of two 311 service requests for property cleanups in Southwest Baltimore.

Originally initiated August 6th, the lots remain trashed.

"What they're doing is not working," said Chris Bekairis.

We first met Bekairis when she contacted us about the trashed alleyway in the 2400 block of Wilkens Avenue.

DPW crews came out the same day and cleaned. However, they didn't touch the two vacant lots where trash was piled up.

"They cleaned up but they left two areas," Bekairis pointed out. "They said they were supposed to come back and clean it up. The other area right there, they said they were going to clean it up, but they only picked up the refrigerator."

Fast forward to today and the original garbage is still sitting on the lots. In fact, the piles have grown larger.

To ensure the properties would be cleaned WMAR submitted two detailed service request forms to 311. Despite a resolution date of August 13th, the lots are still garbage.

"It's the same thing over and over again," said Bekairis. "I feel like a broken record."

Steven Preston told WMAR he too knows the 311 game all too well.

"We submit up to three 311 requests," he said.

For the past nine years he's battled illegal dumping in his Patterson Park neighborhood.

"At the end of the day we have to make a call or send an email to someone at City Council to get these things addressed because they’re not addressed in a timely manner, or that is not addressed period. It makes the problem bigger."

Both Bekairis and Preston feel like they're having to jump through hoops to the get services citizens pay for.

"We just want it done right and done in a timely manner," said Preston.

"I don't want to live like this," said Bekairis. "Just because I live in the city doesn't mean I have to live with trash and rats."

WMAR reached out to DPW. A spokesperson said it is looking into the service tickets for the vacant lots adjoining the Wilkens Avenue Alleyway. So far, no cleanup date has been set.