Navy veteran Kenneth Faircloth said he contacted Albany city officials more than six months ago about this pile of tires and other trash dumped in a wooded area off Barbre Lane. Faircloth said nothing has been done about his complaint.
ALBANY -- Navy veteran Kenneth Faircloth remembers when his neighborhood off Radium Springs Road was one of the nicest, most well-kept in Albany.
As Faircloth took a visitor on a tour of that neighborhood Monday morning, it became all too apparent that its days as a showcase had long since passed.
In a wooded lot just off Barbre Lane, between Radium Springs and Oakridge Drive, scores of old, worn tires have been unceremoniously dumped. Household garbage and other debris also litter the landscape.
"Yeah, this used to be as nice a neighborhood as there is in Albany," said Faircloth, the Navy veteran/businessman who also served as a district aide to Congressman Dawson Mathis and as a regional director for Sen. Mack Mattingly. "But people have been allowed to trash it up, and now it looks awful."
Faircloth, who for years helped manage the family-owned Faircloth Bonding business, said he contacted Albany officials more than six months ago about the trashy conditions of the land near the home that has been in his family for almost seven decades, emphasizing the piles of tires. But he said he has not had any feedback.
Faircloth said he did, however, bring his concerns to the attention of an Albany Police Department officer who was patrolling the area.
"I was riding back here, real slow, teaching my puppy not to jump off the back of the truck, when I saw a police officer staked out just over yonder," Faircloth said, indicating a location at the corner of Barbre and Hilsman lanes. "I mentioned that nothing had been done about my complaint, and she said, 'That's not my job.'
"She asked me if my dog would bite, and I said, 'He's a puppy and he's got teeth, but I wouldn't think so.' She told me, 'If he comes toward me, I'll shoot him.' I suggested I wouldn't do that if I were her, and I just left from out of there."
When informed of Faircloth's complaint, Code Enforcement Director Mike Tilson said Monday afternoon his office had no record of a complaint made by Faircloth or of anyone else about the wooded land off Barbre. He directed Chief Code Enforcement Officer Robert Carter to do a more thorough search.
Carter said there was no record of a complaint registered with the Code office or with the city's 311 call center. He did, however, find some interesting information about ownership of the property.
"We reported that area to Georgia EPD (Environmental Protection Division) last year when they held a training session in Leesburg on tire cleanup," Carter said. "They were, at the time, authorizing grants for areas that needed to be cleaned up, and in June of last year we turned in a list that included that area off Barbre and others in the county.
"As it turns out, all of that particular land back there is actually owned by the state of Georgia."
Informed of the findings of the Code officers, Faircloth confirmed that he had made his complaint to the police department, not the Code office.
"It is interesting, though, that a relative of one of the Code Enforcement officers lives in that area and he owns a tire business," Faircloth said.