People "Trashing East Texas" Not Your Usual Suspects

For the past several years, residents in and around Henderson have been looking at a mounting pile of household trash dumped in the yard where three mobile homes sit. It's clearly visible from West Main Street. The homes sit just outside the city limit.

"This is a sore spot for the city of Henderson because everybody that comes into Henderson from the airport right here or from Carlisle or wherever it might be, they're going to see this area, and then they're going to think that Henderson, in itself, is looking like this all over," Rex Nelson, a city homeowner, said.

When, in fact, just down the street, you'll find nice homes, like the one on Gibson's ranch. The owner, Lavern Gibson, says the land next to him used to look like the trashed property until he bought it and cleaned it up.

"We have people call us all the time wanting to know why we don't buy that property and clean it up," Gibson said.

He says he tried purchasing the property, but the owner wouldn't sell it. We wanted to talk to the people who live there, but a ferocious-looking dog made us back off.

The property has been on the Commissioners Court agenda. Nelson tried to get the county to do something about this dump. Nothing was done. But apparently, that's all going to change.

"It needs cleaning up," Rusk County Judge Sandra Hodges said.

She says the county cannot do anything about the garbage, unless commissioners pass an ordinance to regulate private properties.

"I wouldn't say for sure it'll get passed, but I think it has a good chance," she said.

Nelson and Gibson, who are life-long Henderson residents, hope an ordinance is passed. They say that's the best way pride can be restored in their community.

After we spoke with Judge Hodges, she put the dumping issue on the Commissioners Court agenda for the March 14 meeting.

Julie Tam, reporting.