Omaha neighbors, volunteers start cleaning up eyesore on busy street

Published: Oct. 19, 2021 at 10:29 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A long-standing eyesore in South Omaha looks much better. That’s because neighbors did more than complain to the city.

The overgrown property next door worried Motion Auto Owner Gatfan Alsalmi about a wilderness walk leading to his business.

“The cars can’t see you if you’re walking by,” said Alsalami.

The neighbor’s yard has been on the city’s long list of problem properties to clean up. But after a 6 News On Your Side report about an eyesore, volunteers and Fatfan’s employees decided to cut in line.

“For the safety of the pedestrians and the streets and our entrance,” said Alsalami.

A single senior citizen lives in the house surrounded on all sides by tall weeds and broken branches.

“I guess we were tired of waiting on the city and just come together as a company and as a community to help her out. She doesn’t have anyone else so,” said Shyla Martinez.

The homeowner respectfully declined to talk about getting help.

“We are helping you here,” said Alsalami.

Gatfan says it’s not just about street appearance but backlot intrusion. The overgrown property next door has also become a hazard for Gatfan’s Motion Auto so he and his crew are cutting back limbs that are dangling precariously over vehicles and customers.

A few days after the business neighbor removes invading weeds and limbs the cleanup cavalry arrives. A well-equipped city weeds and litter crew saws chop and mow through the entire property.

A long-standing eyesore gets a long overdue cleanup with neighbors and volunteers leading the way.

“Four volunteers came the next day to help also here, we truly appreciate it, good city, good people,” said Alsalami.

Over the years, the property has received a dozen of violation notices with the city cleaning up and billing the property owner. The chief field inspector says in the past, the bill has been paid but in recent years, it’s grown past due.

The property owner owes the city about $1,300.

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