Pat Nugent and her daughter Sandee have gotten used to being asked about the unsightly mound of dirt that sits in front of their home at 606 Walnut Ave.

After all, it’s been there for three years, the leftovers from when the city removed a dying tree at the site but seemingly skipped the clean-up process.

“They took the tree and stump out and left that mess,” Pat said. “I know they’re busy, but after three years? We have been patient, patient people for someone to clean the mess up, but our patience is running thin.”

Consisting of tree chips, branches and other debris, the dirt pile stands over a foot high and is located in front of Nugent’s home on the opposite side of the sidewalk. A tree had stood at the site four years ago, but needed to be removed because it was infested with mold and fungus.

All that was left after city workers completed work at the site was the stump, which eventually turned black and started growing mushroom-shaped fungus around it. Pat said the stump remained there for about a year before the city finally returned to remove it.

“That’s when they left the pile of dirt there,” she said. “I’ve called and called to ask it be cleaned up, but I’m always told ‘someone will get back to you,’ but nobody ever does.”

In addition to being unsightly, the dirt pile turns to mud and spills over to the sidewalk during rain storms.

“It also smells really bad,” Sandee said.

Both mother and daughter said they work hard to keep the inside and outside of the house clean. They worry that motorists and pedestrians passing by their property think poorly of them due to the mound of dirt.

“My daughter breaks her back to make the yard nice and all you see is that big pile of dirt,” Pat said. “That’s not fair. If it were our responsibility to clean it up, it would’ve been done.”

She added, “I’m not a city worker. If you give me $17 an hour like they get paid, I’d be glad to clean that mess up.”

City Administrator Bill Bradberry visited the property Wednesday afternoon and spoke with the Nugents. He agreed the pile should’ve been removed a long time ago and promised them he would have it done as soon as possible — even if he has to do it himself.

“These are the kind of details that matter,” he said. “When we do a job, we need to do it thoroughly.”

When the city does come to clean the dirt up, Sandee is hoping they leave something more positive behind — the planting of another tree to grow.

“I didn’t think they had to cut it down and if they would’ve just trimmed it, it would’ve been fine,” she said. “I cried when it was gone. That’s nature, don’t kill it.”

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