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City cleans bridge-dwellers' trash

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- City of Albany Public Works crews cleaned up part of an area near the Slappey Boulevard overpass Thursday where homeless men have been camped out for months now. But officials stopped short of evicting them, as some media outlets have reported.

The crews were in the area near the bridge Thursday morning picking up the group's trash in response to a complaint filed with the city's Code Enforcement department almost three weeks ago, Director Mike Tilson says.

Contrary to local media reports, Tilson said his department has not asked the men to leave nor have they been cited for violating the city's litter ordinances because the property on which they are squatting actually belongs to the state. The state contracts with the city to keep the property clean, Tilson said.

"No one has asked them to leave. They aren't being evicted," he said. "My officer merely told them that the contractors, as you call them, will be back to finish the work at a later date."

Because of those jurisdictional issues, Tilson said the men haven't been cited.

A concerned citizen filed a complaint in January through the city's 311 system about the amount of litter that was in the area.