Neighbors say 311 isn’t helping get rid of blight and neglect in Birmingham

Published: Oct. 24, 2022 at 7:10 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - If you have a problem in your neighborhood from a missed trash pickup to a pothole, you call Birmingham’s 311.

But neighbors in the Riley and Jones Valley neighborhoods said they’ve been calling since April and haven’t gotten much help.

Charleen Bledsaw said she’s been calling 311, like she was advised to do, to get all of the issues in her neighborhood resolved, but she said very little has been done to fix them.

“Overgrown grass, the ditches is overflowing, and when I call, they say that they’re going to report it.”

Bledsaw has been living in the riley neighborhood for about 23 years and said she’s losing patience with the blight and neglect she sees.

“I’m tired. My neighbors are tired. So, I want something done about it,” Bledsaw said.

Bledsaw said she’s made several calls to 311, the first in April five months ago.

But she said so far, the city has only been out to spray the overgrown grass.

Bledsaw said that’s not enough calling it a breeding ground for snakes and rodents.

“So, I called the councilwoman for District 7, Alexander, and she came out twice and she said that she was gonna take care of it, and as you see now, it’s still the same way,” Bledsaw explained.

That last visit was in July.

Bledsaw is having surgery next week and will need physical therapy at home.

She’s concerned about how her neighborhood will be perceived.

“I don’t want the people to come out for therapy, you know, and look at all this. It’s embarrassing. They come in the neighborhood, and be like, ‘Ooo, I gotta hurry up and get away from here!’ and I don’t want that.”

She wants the city to take action now.

“I want to see all the abandoned homes torn down, the grass cut, and the ditches cleaned out so when it do rain, the water can flow through, but right now, if it rains more than two days, the ditches overflow. They got all this money for the neighborhoods now. So, where is the money going for this neighborhood?” Bledsaw questioned.

Fox 6 spoke with Birmingham City Council President, Wardine Alexander, who was familiar with this problem.

She said she’s contacted the public works department about the issues and wants to see these 311 complaints addresses more quickly.

We also reached out to the city but haven’t heard back.

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