Cedar Hill, TX - It can look like a landfill, but it's part Jacob Hunter’s home in Cedar Hill. "I have a two-year-old son that I can’t allow in our backyard because this all comes right in my yard," said Hunter.
He's talking about Styrofoam, plastic, and aluminum cans. And that's just some of it.
"It’s everything from razor blades to hypodermic needles," he said "Six-inch pieces of wood with rusty nails in it."
It is trash, picked up in heavy rains and carried through a drainage ditch that runs through Hunter’s property. While the drains are city property, an ordinance said it’s Hunter's responsibility to care for the grass around it. But he argues, he can’t mow litter.
"The worst is when my son picked up the pill bottles," he said. "This is after any small flood or major flood. This is what I have to deal with."
He says his first complaints to the city were in 2015, asking that something be done to stop the trash. Hunter said he last heard from the city in August of 2016 in an email from Assistant City Manager Melissa Valadez-Cummings, who wrote that his area is the city's "top priority for drainage infrastructure going forward."
"There’s been no follow up, no follow through and no proposal about how to fix it, or when it’s going to get done," said Hunter.
To find out what's happened since, WFAA contacted Cedar Hill for answers Monday. The city told WFAA in a statement saying that in September 2017, council funded the design of an underground drainage system to address the issue in Hunter's neighborhood. The construction of the new system is scheduled for late 2018 or early 2019 at a cost of $1.35 million.
Until then, Hunter will keep waiting. All the while, still dreading the rain.