City Working to Level Land Tied to Criminal Activity


POSTED: Wednesday, September 14, 2011 - 1:27pm

UPDATED: Thursday, September 15, 2011 - 7:18am

The sound of heavy machinery and crackling trees as they are pummeled to the ground will be heard over the next few days. The 23 acre area clean up is just the start of a pretty big project that stretches from Palm Blvd. to 9th St.

It's a job being taken on by the City of Brownsville's Health Department, the Public Works Department and the Union Pacific Railroad. They are who maintains the property. Over the years tall grass has been the issue in this old switch yard, but now tall trees have grown on to the property, and as the trees have grown, city officials say so has the crime.

"We've had some vandalism in the area, we've had a couple of stolen vehicles found in here, I know Border Patrol presence is now required in this area as well as Police presence due to more activities going on," says Brownsville’s Public Health Director Art Rodriguez.

From illegal immigrants hiding in the area, to drug activity in the depths of the brush, the city and businesses that line the front side of the land, off Fronton Rd. believe cleaning up this haven for crooks will eliminate the problems near the railroad tracks.

"We believe it's all connected to the high brush and trees growing in the area that masks a lot of activities going on at night time," says Rodriguez.

Rodriguez says getting the leveling and cleanup project to come together has taken about a year and a half and once the land is free of the tall vegetation, the city will step up efforts to make sure the property remains free of those who are up to no good.

"We'll be posting some “No Trespassing” signs and essentially if you're in this area and have no business being back here code enforcement or law enforcement can ask you to remove yourself from the area," says Rodriguez.

Crews are expected to work from sun up to sundown through Thursday night.

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