A rural county along the Oregon coast had it with the transients who built a massive homeless camp on county property. Curry County officials cleared out the area using heavy machinery and dump trucks, to the tune of $20,000.
The Democrat run shith*le states that make up the west coast have been experiencing a growing homeless crisis for several years. You can expect the governors to continue to make it look like they are doing something about the problem with their little task forces and special commissions they put together to examine the issue and make recommendations, which usually result in some new plan to raise taxes to create a new bureau of paper-pusher government employees who do nothing of added value.
Anyways, Linda Pinkham for The Curry Pilot reports:
Tarps and makeshift tents covered hundreds of square feet of county property along the South Bank Chetco River Road at the South Bank Underpass Road. Propped up with poles, the long row of the structures wrapped around the curvature of the bank and sheltered piles of belongings mixed with rubbish, assorted junk and heaps of trash.
The property was posted on Feb. 10, providing notice of the impending cleanup. Curry County Sheriff deputies arrived first to clear the camp of the sole occupant before crews could begin. At one point, as many as 18 people inhabited the camp.
According to a press release from the Curry County Sheriff’s office, forty-nine-year-old Garry Roberts Jr. was arrested for trespass and depositing trash within a hundred yards of a waterway. Roberts was transported to the Curry County Jail and cited and released the next day.
“Unfortunately, it’s gone this far, and now we’ll do what we can to get it cleaned up,” said Sheriff’s Capt. Phil McDonald. “I know the gentleman that created this mess is not happy. We gave him the opportunity to pick up the things he needed to have and go or be arrested. He chose not to do that, so he was arrested. The thing is, this isn’t a guy camping. That’s not what this is. This is a garbage dump that this guy has created. He is homeless by choice, and he’s made this mess by choice. I know there are people who say, ‘Oh, poor homeless guy. Why are they doing this to him?’ But why is he doing this to us?”
Curry County Code Enforcement Officer Dave Fortman led a tour for The Pilot before the cleanup began through a winding narrow path inside the various makeshift tent chambers full of stuff piled 3 to 4 feet high. We couldn’t go around the outside of it because it extended right up to the edge of a steep bank, so we had to go through it, ducking in places and stepping over trash to reach the other side.
Deep in the bowels of the tent maze was a burn barrel, where the occupants burned trash, including plastics. One of the complaints about the camp was from a nearby cancer patient who has trouble breathing and has especially suffered from the pollutants emanating from the illegal burning. A perilously short distance from the burn barrel was a large propane cylinder on its side, creating a fire hazard.
“I’m not necessarily happy. It was something that had to be done,” Jenkins said. “The human waste and the smell was horrible in the summer, and things like that, with my business right there, customers complained. I had a water problem and my waterline goes through there. I brought in a new waterline because I couldn’t get under that,” he said, gesturing to the tented encampment. “It was a bad issue. I’ve dealt with it a long time, and it’s just grown too much. The trash is one of the things that people who donate (to homeless people) don’t realize. The week after Thanksgiving, they’ll have more garbage because everyone gives them food. They don’t have anywhere to dispose of it. I’ve rented a dumpster three times to clean out under the bridge.”
Jenkins knows the man who was arrested and feels bad for him.
“There’s so many different sides,” he said. “Garry’s lived here in Brookings a long time. He had an apartment and lost his job. So he’s been in the area. There’s history. He’s a resident. The camp was up there, they moved him out and he moved down here. But where’s his waste going? It’s going into the river, and people are catching crab right down there.”
Jenkins is now worried about retaliation. He was contacted by the county to see if the camp was on his property.
“First we had to comply with all the laws and notifications and notices to move people off the property,” Fortman said. “In November, at the meeting, we had to request funding to do this. We’re looking at $15,000-$20,000 right now that we’re spending to get this cleaned up. It’s taking manpower time, all this is going to the dump, the county’s being charged for the dump fee, all of the particular property belonging to the transient that’s of value has to be stored at the county’s expense for 30 days.”
“The other reason for the delay is we tried to work with the transients,” he said. “We kept offering them services and trying to make alternatives and trying to get them to voluntarily move on. We’re complying with the law, but trying to be compassionate in finding alternatives. It was Christmas time, then budget funding time. I was told by the county commissioners they would find the money to take care of this. I tried to get local groups to provide services, but the residents here decided not to move.”
The man who was arrested had been offered housing vouchers several times, which he declined. Fortman also came by to warn him several times after posting the notice that the cleanup was coming.
As the cleanup progressed, vehicles passing by honked, people waved and gave thumbs up to crews doing the work. The cleanup was continuing through press time on Feb. 13. Personnel included nine members of the county road crew, two code enforcement officers, a parks employee and multiple sheriffs. The trash filled twelve, 10-yard dump trucks. Another ten dump trucks were needed for removal of the brush, to be burned later by the county.
The dump fees are $600 per load for the trash, according to the sheriff’s office press release.
Photos by Linda Pinkham:
The road department hauled 7 dump truck loads of garbage Wednesday from a transient camp on property owned by Curry County, the sheriff’s office said.
“Each load of trash and debris cost an average of $600.00 to dump,” Sheriff John Ward said in a statement. “Crew members doing the cleanup said there were hundreds of rats that ran out into the brush from all the garbage at the site. Crew members also cut down some trees and brush in order to get to all the trash.”
More pictures are on both the Curry Pilot link and the KVAL link.
Welcome to democrat utopia!