After a month of intervention and tidying, the neighborhood around 7th Street and 9th Avenue looks better than it did, but not everyone is happy with how it got that way.
At a Havre City Council meeting in September, homeowners in that area demanded the city do something about overflowing garages and an overabundance of cars left sitting in yards.
Since then, Mayor Tim Solomon and officers in Havre’s Police Department visited the neighborhood to talk to the occupants of the houses being complained about.
“I went up personally and talked to a few people, ” Solomon said. “The departments followed up and helped out with it. There were no problems.
“It was pretty much normal. ”
The Department of Public Works brought some dumpsters to help clear out some of the debris.
The homeowners’ views, after having their properties gawked at by neighbors and passersby drawn by the Havre Daily News article a month ago, is one of frustration, asking understanding.
“I know people have a problem with this situation, but we’re doing our best, ” Brandon Williams said.
Williams lives in the house featured in the photograph that went with that article, an association not appreciated by his mother, and has for nearly 20 years he said.
His neighbors, Zeke Neil and Stacy Lanier, lean more toward the frustration side.
“I could drive through this town and find 100 houses worse than up here, ” Neil said. “Havre needs to grow up and mind their own business. ”
Neil was also frustrated because, when neighbor Val Murri complained about the property, he told the council that he had offered to help clean up but had been turned down — according to Neil that never happened. No one approached his house to talk to him about finding a solution before going straight to the city government, he said.
Then when the intervention came, Lanier said the mayor’s visit was just a public relations move.
“The mayor came up here because people were saying he didn’t get things done like Mayor Bob (Rice) used to, ” Lanier said.
Lanier also said that she has a lot to contend with, three children with special needs, that might push property maintenance down the list of priorities.
One of those children, her son Raven, is a fan of disassembling and reconfiguring anything he can get his hands on, “putting motors on things that aren’t supposed to have motors on them. ” She said that he has not been happy with having the piles of junk, or fiddling materials, depending on one’s point of view, taken away.
Murri and his neighbors who brought the city down on Lanier, Neil, Williams and the others, are satisfied at least. During the cleanup he commended the city on bringing a dumpster to the area to be filled four times to help the cleaning and acknowledged the difference that it had made.