Residents cheer as the tire clean-up begins! - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Residents cheer as the tire clean-up begins!

By Molly Reuter - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - email

HAWKINS, TX (KLTV) - For years, the City of Hawkins has been trying to get thousands of tires cleaned-up. Finally, they have made a small victory. Tuesday afternoon, a company out of Plano began cleaning up more than 10,000 sand tires sitting in the 900 block of North Beaulah.

That's where the city says Robert Foster began his tire scrap service before moving to the location in south Hawkins.

The state says Foster is "footing the bill" to clean up the tires. When Foster registered his Hawkins property with the state, he paid $9,000. The state says it's using that money to hire the cleaning crew and get the tires removed. Those who live nearby say it's about time.

"The value of my home, with this junk across the street," said Hawkins resident, Allen Holley. "There's rats over there and mosquitoes over and everything else."

Holley says he's been fighting to get rid of the eye sore across the street for almost five years. Now, the sounds of bailing machines bring a smile to his face.

"Oh, I feel better that someone is doing something," said Holley. "I feel a whole better about it."

The City of Hawkins and the TCEQ hired Trident Environmental Resource Consulting out of Plano to move 10,000 tires off the Hawkins property.

"This machine behind me is going to basically squash them up them up, put some wiring around them and basically stack them up like a pyramid," explained Tim Sommers, president of TERC. "When my customer is ready for them we are going to deliver them and they will use them as alternative fuel."

Hawkins Mayor Sam Bradley says the tires should be cleaned up in about a week. But says the tires should never have piled up in the first place.

"I'll tell you what, it's great," he said. "I've been working on this particular site for over a year. The town in general is glad to see the tires move."

Holley says he just hopes everything goes as planned.

"I hope this bailing machine works because the other things that have been brought in did not work," said Holley.

It's good news for those living near the site, but nearly 500,000 whole and now burned tires remain piled up just down the street. We spoke with representative Brian Hughes who says the state has budgeted $1.2 million to get those tires cleaned up. Right now, it's just waiting on the governor's signature.

Monday night the Hawkins Fire Department told KLTV the tire fire had been ruled an arson, but now the Hawkins fire marshal told us that the fire is still being called suspicious. They have not ruled it an arson.

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