Residents of Maysville’s East End say they are losing their neighborhood to drugs and are looking to the city for help to keep it from continuing.
Several residents of the area appeared before Maysville City Commission Thursday to express their concerns.
One resident, a mother who has young children, said she has on more than one occasion found needles that were discarded by drug users in her back yard.
“I’m tired of the needles in my backyard. I’m tired of the junkies on my street,” she said.
“I care about the safety of the community but most of all I care about the safety of my children,” she said. “I want it to be a nice environment for everyone.”
Although she said her children have been instructed not to pick up any needles, she still fears they may step on one or that other children who are unaware may pick them up.
City Manager Matt Wallingford urged the young mother to report any illegal activities she sees to city police.
“I promise (Police) Chief (Ron) Rice and his officers are working on this,” he said.
Another resident said people will often cut through a driveway and jump over a fence if they think police are in the area and still another said she lives near a house that was recently raided by police and carries her pepper spray when she goes out into her yard to work in her flowers.
A gentleman told of watching a drug deal go down on a neighbor’s porch.
A lady referenced the recent raid and noted “They took 13 and 11 came back.”
The level of activity has not slowed down since the raid, she said.
“I hear it all. Nobody works, they are are all into drugs heavily,” the woman said.
She said the house is in disrepair and has affected the value of the home she has worked her entire life to pay for.
“I can’t get any rest. It’s starting to affect my health,” she said.
Rice said he understands her frustration and that it is a shared frustration for his department. Officers will spend several months gathering information before a drug raid, he said, only to have the court system release the offenders back on the street.
“We feel your pain,” Rice said.
Commissioner Jerry Schumacher said the city has to do something.
“We’ve got to draw the line somewhere in this community…we’ve got to get the litter out,” Schumacher said. “We’ve got to do something about this or we’re going to be Chicago.”
Several possible actions were discussed including citing landlords for possible codes violations but no solutions were reached.
Also Thursday, Maysville agreed to lobby Kentucky’s congressional delegation to be added to the Appalachian Regional Commission.
Wallingford said he was approached by City Commissioner Victor McKay, urging the city to explore the designation. As an ARC county, grant money and funding for infrastructure projects would be available. Although the actual designation must be sought by the county, city officials said they would support the move.
In other business, commissioners:
— Approved minutes and department reports.
— Reappointed Kirk Clarke and Dickie Butler to the Utility Commission.
— Accepted resignations from the Utility Department and Public Works.
— Approved the promotion of firefighter Mark Mains to captain.
— Approved a resolution renewing a lease with of space at the Kenton Commonwealth Center to Health and Family Services and to Workforce Investment.
— Approved a letter of support to ABC for the New Year’s Eve fund-raising event.
— Approved a resolution on behalf of #teamgracie designating September s Pediatric and Ovarian Cancer Month.
— Authorized bids for the demolition of structures at 513 Florence Street to Windridge Construction for $4,650 and at 503 Buckner Street M and M Construction for $4,100.
— Awarded the bid for new ambulances to Penn Care. The company will deliver two ambulances at a cost of $136,180 each.
— Awarded the bid for the annual paving contract to H.G. Mays for $239,861.
— Approved a resolution authorizing a mutual aid agreement with Buffalo Trace Search and Rescue at a cost of 25 cents per capita.
— Approved the second reading of an ordinance increasing the payroll tax from 1.95 percent to 1.99 percent.
— Amended to EDC ordinance to require vendors to dispense alcoholic drinks in clean cups with the logo or name of the vendor.