BY ALLEN HOWARD
The Cincinnati Enquirer
A South Cumminsville construction company is getting a dirty image with its neighbors because of spilling too much dirt on the streets. Marilyn Evans of South Cumminsville said the Keesh Construction Co., 3605 Dawson Ave., is hauling and dumping all kinds of dirt on its property, and spilling a lot of it throughout the neighborhood. "The dirt is spilling off the trucks and flying into the houses," Mrs. Evans said. "Residents have been eating dirt since he moved here three years ago."
Mrs. Evans is a board member of the South Cumminsville Community United For Better Housing. She and other neighbors said the dirt piles at the company's property are creating an eyesore in the neighborhood. Keesh Edwards, owner of the company, denies that his work is causing a nuisance, a health hazard or an eyesore. He said he is not doing anything illegal because he has permits from the city.
"I just don't think they want me here," Mr. Edwards said. "When I bought the place three years ago, it was a real mess. There were old tires, batteries, furniture and junk all over the place. I have cleaned it out and I am filling in the area with dirt."
Mr. Edwards said he has a permit and is doing what the city allows.
He said when he finishes filling the area with dirt, he will fence it in and use the property for his construction business.
William Langevin, director of the city's Department of Building and Inspections, said the company was given a cut and fill permit in 1995.
"He applied for another cut and fill permit last December, but I don't have a record that it was granted," Mr. Langevin said. The South Cumminsville Community United For Better Housing was successful in getting Mr. Edwards to attend a meeting this week but is not exactly satisfied with the progress made. "He told us he would make a concerted effort to keep the streets clean," Mrs. Evans said.
Mr. Edwards said he will clean the streets if dirt spills off his trucks. But he pointed a finger at the neighbors and criticized their own efforts to keep the area clean.
"There are a lot of houses out here that are vacant and condemned and should be torn down, but they are still standing," Mr. Edwards said. "I don't see how they can criticize what I am doing when I am making an effort to keep the area cleaned."
Mrs. Evans said the housing group is in the process of upgrading the houses.
"We have an upgrading and cleanup campaign. And we certainly don't want the bad image he offers as part of our problem," Mrs. Evans said.
Group members will schedule another meeting soon, she said, and if Mr. Edwards does not cooperate, they will take him to court.