SUN VALLEY, NV (KOLO) Residents along Quartz Lane in the northwest corner of Sun Valley have long complained that others have been using their neighborhood as a dump.
The county promised a cleanup and Monday it began. It's going to be a big job.
When we first visited Quartz Lane early this month it was easy to understand what residents have been complaining about.
As the roadway turns from pavement to deeply rutted dirt, the first abandoned vehicles appear. Down the road there are more, most stripped of doors and wheels, windows smashed, some covered in graffiti.
They line the south side of the roadway and there's a reason. Here the road is private, property owners sharing responsibility.
The property line runs right down the middle and though there are issues to the north, the south half was owned by a longtime Sun Valley couple who died. Their estate has not yet cleared probate and there's no one to answer the county's abatement order.
So, after hearing months of complaints, the county began a cleanup. Inmate crews from the sheriff's office filled large dumpsters with trash which had collected around and in the abandoned vehicles.
Resident Charlie Stockford was surprised and grateful.
"I got up this morning and I saw all those people rushing around down there and I couldn't figure out what it was until I saw the prisoners clean it up."
But it's just a start. For the moment the vehicles remain. The county asked for bids. A contract was approved and any day now tow trucks will haul off the vehicles.
Good news, but how long will it last? We saw a few vehicles that weren't here a few weeks ago. One, Stockford tells us, was dumped here just last night.
"I don't know how they're going to keep it clean once they get it cleaned up because everybody knows this is where you dump cars."
"We've being talking with the sheriff's office to see if they can upgrade their patrols in the area," says Assistant County Manager Dave Solero, "just to make sure if they see anything out there at night in hopes they can catch anyone dumping them off."
What residents really want is for the county to take responsibility for the road and make improvements. Solero says that would take a special assessment district, fees paid by the residents.
Solero says reaction to that idea has, so far, been mixed.
"It's going to be a heavy lift for that group up there to band together and do that. There's a few that want to do it, but I don't think there's enough."
County code enforcement staff have collected vehicle identification numbers. They'll be trying to track down the responsible parties. If successful, Solero says the cases will be passed on to the district attorney's office.
In the meantime, residents of Quartz Lane are being told there will be increased patrols in the area and they should call when they see dumping going on.
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