BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Wilbert August says the overgrown lot across from his home has become a nightmare.
"Anybody can hide over there, animals can be over there... to say we're in a city like Baton Rouge, we shouldn't have to go through this," said August.
The Vietnam War veteran says he's has been trying to get something done with the lot for almost three years. He says the city continues to give him the run around, and now he's left to fight a war against snakes and rotten odors.
"I'm a veteran and I believe we have done service for our country and we shouldn't have to get through those extremes of calling a TV station to get things done the city-parish and the government's responsible of taking care of," he said.
Our 9News Alert Team went to see how bad things were; it almost looked like a scene from a jungle, but this is home for neighbors living around the lot.
"It's just like walking into a clean house, you have a different perspective of your home when it's cared for and this is our home, this community is our home," said August.
Upon researching the lot, we found out it was adjudicated around 1992. This means the city does not have full ownership of it, and the original owner is still responsible for keeping it clean. So what role does the city play in all of this? When someone calls about an overgrown lot, the city may file a weed lien against the owner. That will cover the cost of getting the area cleaned up.
"I just get a confirmation number, and a lot of times, I just forget it you know, you give me a confirmation number over and over, that's not really solving the issue," said August.
According to the Department of Public Works (DPW), issues with ownership of the property have halted maintenance. They tell us they are looking into it to see if they will be able to go onto the lot to get it cleaned. The city also says they will continue to check with DPW to see what can be done.