A Fox59 investigation has spurred change at a potentially hazardous property on the west side of Indianapolis.
For months abandoned trailers and garbage filled the old Shrum Housing Center along West Washington Street near the intersection with Raceway Road, but now, following the investigation by Fox59, the cleanup has begun.
Soots called the site an eyesore when Fox59 interviewed him two weeks ago. Soots said he and other area business owners had grown frustrated with the danger and health hazards the trailers posed.
The area did catch the attention of the Marion County Health Department back in June, but after several citations and a change in ownership there had been little progress.
In late October, the Health Department told Fox59 that they had plans to take the matter to environmental court in November.
"We'll hope to get action then,” said Lynne Lynch with the Marion County Health Department’s division of Housing and Neighborhood Health, “for some sort of agreement with the owner to make the corrections at the property."
It's clear those corrections are now underway ahead of schedule. Things reportedly began to change immediately after the Fox59 investigation. Former owner of Shrum Larry Fitzgerald admitted the cleanup was overdue, while speaking to Fox59 off camera in October. He also reached out to the owners of Divine #2 after the story aired.
"Just came in to say that he wanted to apologize for the mess that's been down there,” said Michele Knerr, co-owner of Divine #2. “And wanted to explain that he was working on getting it all cleared out."
Storage Express is the new owner of the property and last week a representative reached out to Fox 59 to say that legal issues surrounding the trailers had been cleared up, paving the way for the cleanup.
"To see it all getting moved now because of the story that was done, it's good that they are actually taking their word and going forth with it," Knerr said.
Storage Express plans to build a new facility on the site some time in early 2013.