KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- For the last two years, a Kansas City retiree says he's tried to get the city to clean up what he calls "a nasty eyesore" in his neighborhood at E. 67th and The Paseo, but to no avail.
James Williams says he just wants the city to cut down overgrown weeds and grass and pick up all this trash, and he may soon get his wish.
Williams is a dedicated deacon at his Kansas City church and he's got the hat to prove it.
"Progress Baptist Church," he advised.
Williams doesn't mind cleaning up his church, but for the last two years he says he's taken on an unexpected neighborhood project that's gotten out of hand.
"Every week I would go through there and pick up trash," he explained.
The 77-year-old, retired Ford worker says he decided to pick up all the trash people illegally dumped at a vacant house across the street from his home. The site is also right next door to Williams' daughter's home.
"One time it got real bad because a guy came , backed up a truck and he dumped a big load," Williams said.
The dirty, torn plastic bags of garbage, the countless, flying debris and the overgrown grass and weeds have all become a big headache for the humble homeowner. Williams says he's repeatedly contacted City Hall.
"Dozens and dozens of times, and you know, they said they'd get somebody out here, but they never did. Trash keeps piling up. We have all kinds of rats around here, and I wouldn't get no help from the city," he said.
Frustrated, Williams contacted FOX 4. We then called John Baccala, a spokesman for Kansas City Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department, who met with Williams on Tuesday afternoon.
Baccala told Williams currently the city has at least 1,000 vacant homes that it wants to demolish. As for the property in question, Baccala says two months ago it sold to a Leawood buyer and the city is waiting for the sale to be completed.
"Once that happens then we will contact the new owner. The new owner will have 30 days to either demolish it, rehab it or then the city will get involve again," Baccala said.
In the meantime, Baccala says by next Wednesday the city will cut the grass, the weeds and clean up the mess, and Williams hopes his fight will finally be over.
"I think they'll have it done," Williams said.