Illegal activity closes road permanently - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Illegal activity closes road permanently

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WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Illegal activity in one public park has neighbors asking the city to make changes.

Waterloo City Council voted to close the 3800 block of West Shaulis Road during Monday's meeting.

The road dead ends into Katoski Greenbelt where neighbors say people are using the secluded area to conduct illegal activity including trash dumping and drug use.

 "The beauty of the greenbelt is that it provides a habitat for deer. It provides a good place for people to come and walk it," said John Miller who lives near the park and has been working with the city to make changes.

Surrounded by nature, it is one of the reasons John Miller and his neighbors chose the area.

"And then when people abuse it. It just makes it bad for everybody," said Miller, who served on the Black Hawk County Board of Supervisors.

Miller and his wife often walk down to the greenbelt.

"Somebody was parked over here and I could smell the meth," said Miller.

The park is on Waterloo property, but only feet from the Hudson border.

A Hudson Patrol Officer tells KWWL he has seen it all in the park including drug use and partying.

"And again it is not happening during the day. It is happening at two, three, four in the morning," said Miller, who can see the cars driving in from his home.

 If you part the tall grasses along the road and you will find children's toys, suitcases, "trash, dead animals, beer cans . . .somethings I best not say," said Miller.

City officials believe the best way to stop the problem is to put up a road block to prevent motor vehicles from getting down to where the secluded area of the greenbelt is that provides cover for illegal and unwanted activity," said Miller.

"It leaves people access to the area, but it also takes the temptation away and the secludedness away for people to do things that probably best they not do," said Miller.

The greenbelt will still have access for those wanting to hike the area, but cars and ATV's will no longer be able to drive in.

ATV's are banned throughout the greenbelt and have been using Katoski park as an entrance, causing erosion to the nature preserve. 

The road is expected to close in the next week or so.

Waterloo Public Works will use materials already owned by the city to keep costs to a minimum.    

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