ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (WFLA) – “They don’t care about the little guy, they won’t talk to you, they won’t do their work,” St. Petersburg resident Ralph Denholm said.
Denholm is letting his frustration pour out about an overflowing alley. He said every time it rains there’s a drainage issue that leaves stagnant water just outside his home he said the city claims they can’t fix it for a couple of years. So he turned to 8 On Your Side for help.
The man who’s lived in this home next to the alley for six years said with the rainy season around the corner, the alley is about to fill with water.
“Water puddles in front of my driveway 4 to 5 inches deep every time water gets in, it won’t flow,” said Denholm.
Denholm said the city engineer agrees the alley needs to be reelevated and repaved but says they won’t fix the problem for two years. Denholm says two years is too long.
“When you have standing water you have mosquitos, a bug problem. Traffic goes up and down this alley all day long splashing dirty water all over everything,” Denholm said.
Eight On Your Side reached out to the city Friday morning and within a half-hour, public works came to clear out a clogged sewer pipe in the alley.
“Whatever they did over here that took 10 minutes isn’t solving the problem, it’s a major problem and I’m getting a major run around,” Denholm said.
His neighbor who has lived nearby for 40 years didn’t want to show his face on camera but agrees.
Pave the alley the correct way instead of patch work,” he said.
We asked Denholm what question he had for city management.
“When are they going to do the work? Give us a date!” Denholm said.
St. Pete City Communications Director, Benjamin Kirby, sent 8 On Your Side a statement saying
“If the customer is requesting complete repaving of this alley, that cannot occur ahead of the other priority projects that have been in our 5-year Capital Improvement Projects.” Kirby went on to say “It is not fair to others to postpone their long-requested projects.”
But Denholm said the only thing not fair is that he is left to suffer.
“The city just doesn’t care, we’re in the wrong zip code. This is 714, if it was 704,702,703 you would never have the problem because they maintain that area good,” Denholm said.
City officials told 8 On Your Side that on Thursday city council approved an agreement with Pinellas County that may provide more funding for paving projects.