Dumping Again

(WSVN) - He was fined by the city, accused of dumping rocks on his own property, but he says the city dumped the rocks … which they denied. Then guess what happened. Rocks were dumped on his property again. What did the city say this time? It’s tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.

Alvin Lewis’ family has been around Fort Lauderdale for a long time…

Alvin Lewis, battling Fort Lauderdale: “And a park was named after my father called Lewis Chisom Park in remembrance and dedication to the area.”

Alvin owns several properties in Fort Lauderdale and likes to do things to help the city, like letting them use this empty lot he owns as a staging area…

Alvin Lewis: “So a staging area is what the city uses when they place their equipment in one specific area, and I really don’t mind because in essence, it helps the city out a little bit.”

Last year, nearby residents said they saw the city contractors storing gravel on Alvin’s lot…

Woman: “They put this big old pile here. They had the bobcat and county stuff out here.”

What’s that they say about no good deed goes unpunished?

Alvin Lewis: “I got a citation from the city saying that I am being cited for the rock that is here.”

That’s right. Cited by Fort Lauderdale for rocks on his property that Alvin says the city or their contractor put on his property.

Alvin Lewis: “And meanwhile, I am being fined $50 a day and they said, ‘If you don’t pay the fine, we will put a lien on your property.'”

After Alvin asked us for help, we contacted Fort Lauderdale. A spokesman, Chaz Adams, ripped into us writing, “Please stop making false accusations that you cannot support with evidence.”

Regarding the gravel Adams added, “You still have failed to produce a photo, video, license plate, vehicle number, name, I.D. badge, email, or any other shred of evidence … Your handling of this is simply sad, disappointing and from our perspective absolutely non-credible.”

A magistrate then froze the fines at $1,500 and said they would be wiped out if Alvin cleared the gravel from the lot.

Our Help Me Howard story aired, and guess what happened — rocks dumped on Alvin’s lot … again.

Alvin Lewis: “We found the city used my land. Now here they are doing the exact thing that they said they never did and never would do.”

Since the city complained Alvin didn’t have any pictures to prove they dumped rocks on his property the last time, Alvin took several and talked to the people using his lot.

Alvin Lewis: “This time they are saying they had permission from the owner to use the lot. That’s when I informed the supervisor from the City of Fort Lauderdale that I am the owner.”

And Alvin says after he got fined the first time, he told the city to stay off his lot.

So Alvin went back to the magistrate to show the pictures of the city and their contractor dumping rocks on his property.

Magistrate: “Mr. Lewis’ lot is being used as staging area for emergency repairs to the city.”

Fort Lauderdale said the city stood by their statement earlier this year — that they did not dump rocks on Alvin’s property. As for the dumping this time, their spokesman wrote, “A manhole collapsed” and “without the City’s knowledge, the contractor used Mr. Lewis’ lot to stage the equipment needed to make the repairs.”

Alvin was fuming…

Alvin Lewis: “Dragged through the dirt for almost a year, calling me a liar and saying this never ever happened.”

As for the fines against Alvin, the city said never mind.

Official: “As far as code enforcement is concerned, we are asking to vacate the order.”

Fort Lauderdale says their contractor will replace the sod on Alvin’s property after the gravel and equipment is removed.

Alvin wants them to do one more thing — stay away from his property.

Alvin Lewis: “They are no longer allowed to use my property for anything with the city because I refuse to be dragged through this again, stating I’m a liar for something they created.”

Alvin just wants the city to go away, but Howard said he could actually demand they pay him for using his property without his consent. Alvin says he has asked to be paid. He says the city has not responded. If they don’t, he says he will sue them. Clearly he has had enough of the city.

Got a rocky mess dumped on you? Ready to stage a cleanup? Contact us. Hopefully our good deed will get applause instead of punishment.

Email: helpmehoward@wsvn.com
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at pfraser@wsvn.com
Miami-Dade: 305-953-WSVN
Broward: 954-761-WSVN

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