Residents protest City’s plan to use park for debris site


In the wake of Hurricane Irma, another crisis was averted in the early days of clean up when District 5 Councilwoman Lori Boyer thwarted a plan to turn Alexandria Oaks Park into a dump site for storm debris.

The park along the FEC railroad tracks between Marco Place and River Oaks Road is popular with dog walkers, families and sports groups.

An alert went out on the social media site NextDoor, and neighbors quickly weighed in:
“This does not seem very well thought out…many trucks traveling our quiet residential street, how long will the dumping continue and then the trash will be moved, I am assumi––ng, to a final location and how long will the in and out continue!” wrote Carolyn Hinckley, a resident of Marco Place, the northern border of the park.

“The final question is how will our park look after this dumping is over! We live on Marco Place and are adamantly opposed to this intrusion into our neighborhood! And why are the people who live around the park just hearing about this crazy plan!”

Michele Ramey wrote: “My husband and I strongly disagree with this idea and have already sent emails to Ms. Boyer.”

In response to a barrage of emails, Boyer initially responded: “We are under a Declaration of Emergency so the Mayor has unilateral authority to make these decisions as needed but I reached out and asked about the plan and alternative sites as soon as I was alerted by neighbors this morning.”

And within the hour came the reprieve: “Council Member Boyer has been in contact with the Mayor’s Administration, and Alexandria Park will no longer be used as a storm debris site. The City is making arrangements to use another property in District 5.”

The alternate site is the Jackson Square property east of the FEC tracks.

Jon Singleton, who lives on the park, wrote: “I know they need a staging area, but am thankful we’re not losing this much-needed green space refuge while neighbors are rebuilding.”

By Lilla Ross
Resident Community News

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