Mount Vernon raw sewage issues steeped in political finger-pointing
Many houses in the Third Street corridor of Mount Vernon are dealing with a gross problem -- raw sewage. But the issue isn't a new one, neighbors say.
Wayne Fletcher says the problem goes back years, causing consistent cleanups.
"I literally had to pick up a bucket of sewage out of my sock three days in a row," says Fletcher.
Fletcher says it has only gotten worse, so he's been calling the Department of Public Works for weeks begging for help, but to no avail.
"It's not just me. It's the whole Third Street corridor from Seventh Avenue up to 14th Avenue," says Fletcher.
Fletcher says the city had his basement cleaned Thursday. Mount Vernon officials also approved an emergency order for a $59,000 pump bypass system Thursday to alleviate the issue as the DPW investigates the old sewage system.
"It's an 80-year-old pipe, which is 100 feet deep on Third Street," says DPW Commissioner Damani Bush.
Bush says they are also in debt because city Comptroller Deborah Reynolds won't pay the bills.
"Right now, our sewer contractor is owed $176,000. He hasn't been paid in over five months," says Bush.
Fletcher says he doesn't want to get involved in politics. He just wants a safe home for him and his family.
So, what comes next? The mayor's office says once the comptroller's office pays the bill, they will acquire the pump. In the meantime, they say they obtained another bypass pump from the Westchester Department of Emergency Management. That will be installed within 24 hours.
News 12 did speaker to the comptroller -- she says she knows nothing about the sewage problem and went on to criticize the DPW commissioner and the mayor.