Park Cleaned Up After Video Hits the Web

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A neighbor angry about debris left in a park after some utility work was done made his complaint public with a Youtube video, and it got results.

Evan Smalley says he saw work crews replacing Missouri Gas Energy (MGE) pipes in the park area near his home back in July. But weeks later, the debris, old pipes and scrap metal, was still sitting there. Then weeks turned to months, so Smalley grabbed his camcorder.

"They had no intention of coming back and fixing anything," he said.

Smalley was especially upset that the gate keeping people out of the area had been damaged. In the video, you can see that it had been repaired with electrical tape, and Smalley sounds incredulous in the video as he says "yes that's electrical tape."

Smalley says his neighborhood is always on the lookout for dumping because it's a big problem at Blue River Park, near 71 Highway and Bannister Road.

"We try to keep the street as clean as possible so it's less attractive to dumpers," said Smalley.

He showed us the dumping area Wednesday, all cleaned up. He sent his Youtube video to the Jackson County Parks Department on Friday. By Monday, the Parks Department had alerted MGE and by Tuesday it was all cleaned up.

"They were great," Smalley said. "They got with the gas company the company was here the next day they knew where all the pipes were and didn't a miss one in the park."

The Parks Department says it inspected the site after MGE cleaned it up and were pleased with the clean up.

An MGE spokesman tells me this was a third party contractor hired to do this job, and when MGE questioned the contractor about why this happened, the contractor didn't have a good answer. MGE says this is not how they do business and it's talking to its inspectors about follow up procedures so this kind of thing doesn't happen again.

That was exactly what Smalley wanted.

"You have to appreciate the service they provide," said Smalley. "But they should do it responsibly when they use our parks."

The Jackson County Parks Department says dumping is a problem they are constantly battling. If you ever see someone dumping in the parks, you can report it at   816-503-4890. Fines for dumping in parks can go up to a thousand dollars.

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