Community Journal: Lagoon needs cleaning up

Community Journal: Lagoon needs cleaning up

Michelle Hubbell

Photos by Michelle Hubbell.

I am an Alameda resident who has observed that the lagoon and park area at Oak Street and Otis Drive has become increasingly subject to illegal dumping, graffiti and a transient population. The area has been neglected for years and it is getting worse. There is no night lighting which would discourage illegal activity.

There have been issues with the park and lagoon for years. It is becoming an unhealthy and potentially dangerous with the unaddressed blight. At the very least, it does not reflect well on Alameda as “one of the best places to live” in America.

The week before the three-day Martin Luther King Jr. holiday, I noticed quite a bit of garbage strewn in the area adjacent to the lagoon and trash floating in the lagoon. I assumed it would be cleaned up after the holiday. On January 22 I investigated and found that garbage, which included rotting food with Walgreens labels, was still there. I called the city's public works department that afternoon to report the illegal dumping and to find out who is responsible for maintaining the area.

The woman who answered told me that the city has a contract with Alameda County Industries to pick up the trash and that she would put in a work order to have the garbage cleaned up. She also said it would only take a day. I asked to be connected to someone in charge and was transferred to Max Arbios' voice mail, but his voice mail was not taking messages. I was also told that Public Works Director Bob Haun was not available.

I also forwarded my initial e-mail to public works to Mayor Trish Spencer. Again, I got no response.

The Alameda West Lagoon Home Owners Association shares the responsibility with the city for maintenance of the areas adjacent to the lagoon. The area of Park Street and Otis Drive is Lagoon 3. The water at this end of the Lagoon 3 is polluted, stagnant and choked with debris.

I talked to the association's president Wednesday, and he confirmed there is shared responsibility between the city and the association, depending on where the garbage is located, and that he would investigate. If it's determined to be part of the association's maintenance agreement, someone will be sent out to the site to clean it up. He also said they are aware of the conditions of the water, which is polluted with toxic materials, and are working with the water board for a solution.

I have attached photos taken January 22 of the garbage, including the rotting food and items dumped in the lagoon. It is disgusting. As of Tuesday, the garbage had not been cleaned up.

I would like to see this situation resolved in the near term by a thorough cleanup of the area. Long term, I request that the city, Alameda County Industries and the homeowner's association establish responsibility, communicate with each other and commit to keeping the area clean and wholesome for the community.

Comments

Submitted by Kathryn Mosher (not verified) on Thu, Jan 29, 2015

What an absolute disgrace and those responsible need to do their jobs. Thank you Michelle for your interest and persistence.