MUNCIE, Ind. - A former Marsh Grocery site in Muncie is receiving some unwanted attention from people looking to cut ties with their trash.
City officials say on Monday, they were informed the site located at 1800 S. Burlington had become a frequent spot for illegal dumping.
“Just a lot of trash and people dumping things they don’t want to pay to have dumped,” City Building Commissioner Richard Lorrison said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the sites' back lot played host to a number of discarded couches, beds, tires and trash.
In response, Lorrison declared the property “unsafe.” Property owner Barry Feinsmith, of New York City, will now be called to appear in front of the Unsafe Building Hearing Authority.
“Sometimes you have people coming around, hanging, out, partying after dark, things like that,” he said.
Since the last Marsh Grocery store closed last year, concerns over upkeep, blight and trash accumulating on empty properties have been constant. Neighbors in multiple locations have reported issues.
During a conversation with FOX59, Feinsmith stated that he had already contracted a cleanup crew to clear the site by end of day Thursday.
“I don’t want it not done. I want it cleaned up! Had I known about it before, it wouldn’t have been an issue,” Feinsmith said.
Feinsmith said he also had been requesting estimates from crews to build an 8-foot fence around the lot.
“It’s more than just cleaning it up, it’s making certain it can’t happen again. Otherwise, what’s the purpose of cleaning it up,” he said.
Feinsmith says his biggest concern is finding another grocery store to fill the Marsh vacancy.
He said he believes as long as the store remains vacant, the community will be at a disadvantage and at risk for becoming a food desert. He also believes the longer the store stays empty, more chances will be created for activities like illegal dumping.