Beaches residents fed up with city's poor maintenance of the alleyways

Jacksonville Beach residents are complaining about City Hall's poor service.

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - Six years ago, Ashley Kelm moved into her Jacksonville Beach home and has enjoyed it, except for the condition of the alleyway between the homes.

"It has been a problem for four years," Kelm said.

She said that is how long she has been complaining: Four years of asking the City of Jacksonville Beach to do what it is supposed to do.

"I call at least once every two three months to see if anyone coming out," she said.

She calls to see if they're coming out to mow the city's right of way. Right now, it is so overgrown, Kelm said they're seeing vermin creep into their backyard.

"We've had rats," she said, "We found a very massive snake that doesn't belong in the area. We've had bugs and recently poison ivy coming over the fence."

The area in question is behind the homes located on 15th Avenue and 14th Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach. But she said it is bigger than that.

"If you look at the alleys on all of these streets, if it is city maintained, it is in the same situation as ours, it doesn't change," Kelm said. "It isn't street specific, this is a problem."

She wrote an email to Mayor Charlie Latham and her city councilman. Kelm wants to see her tax dollars at work.

"If we're paying to have this done, and it is not happening, lets get another company in there to fix it," she said.

We reached out to William Edwards, who is Jacksonville Beach Public Works. He was not available for comment.

"Why am I driving this? This isn't my job, I have a job," Kelm said. "I would like to be able to do my job while they do theirs and not have to help them see a problem that is very apparent throughout Jacksonville Beach."

We reached out to the Jacksonville Beach City Hall and they sent the following response:

"In response to your inquiry about the maintenance of an alleyway along 15th Avenue South in Jacksonville Beach, we received a complaint about this alley from a resident just this morning.  A staff member from our Public Works Department contacted the complainant and explained the delay in mowing alleys has been from drainage/flooding issues, crosswalks and protecting the dunes during restoration.  Public Works is working on a plan to start mowing the alleys on the south end and work their way north.  The complainant was thanked for her patience and she was thankful for the response. "

City Manager’s Office

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