People sick of huge pile of rubble in Waterloo - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

People sick of huge pile of rubble in Waterloo

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People in Waterloo are upset because the remains of a once long-standing local business has still not been cleaned up after it was consumed by fire nearly nine months ago.

Tri-City Clothing on Logan Avenue burned down in December.

Authorities believe it was a faulty furnace that caused the building to burn to the ground.

The mess has still not fully been cleaned up.

City officials say they're at odds with the building owner.

The City Attorney says it's the building owner's responsibility to clean up the remains of the property, but they haven't yet, because the owner says they don't have the money.

Neighbors are sick of seeing the mess in their neighborhood.

Shoes, hats, old sweaters, beer cans and more lay in a pile of charred brick and wood from the fire.

"The community, people looking at this, it causes rats, raccoons, possums, and animals coming up in here," said Waterloo man Dwight Porter.

The remnants are right out in the open, and possibly has asbestos, according to city officials.

The remnants even spill over onto the sidewalk with no barriers to contain them.

The Waterloo City Attorney David Zellhoefer says the mess is the landlord's responsibility, but has become the city's problem.

"The owner apparently didn't have enough insurance, and the property probably has asbestos, which really adds to the cost of it," said Zellhoefer.

The possible presence of asbestos, the lack of hustle on the clean-up, and the apparent new dumping site for garbage near the rubble is really making people mad and they don't understand why it's taking so long to get cleaned up.

"The city can clean this up then send the landlord the bill -- it's just that simple," said Waterloo man Tracey Wise.

The city says it isn't that easy, there's a legal process to go through, and they're trying to avoid spending taxpayer money.

But isn't there something that can be done in the meantime?

KWWL asked Zellhoefer about a fence.

"I think there was one at one point, I'll look into that. I'll call code enforcement and have something put up, I agree with you something should be put up," he said.

He said the city is currently in discussion with the landlord's attorney, they're trying to work something out.

He could not speak further than that.

City Council member Quentin Hart who is in charge of the ward gave a statement to KWWL:

"The blight on Logan Avenue is an example of a landlord that does not care about the safety of the residents. We have to continue to fight to hold them accountable and clean up their mess."

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