City ruins historic brick alley

CAMP WASHINGTON, Ohio (Rich Jaffe) -- The price of progress in one local community is more than either side wants to pay!What some Cincinnati city officials called "progress" was a small paving job down a small alley, a rather historic, brick alley to be precise. But the reaction they got from the community was huge. It's called Holder Alley. It's one of a handful of old brick alleys that lace Camp Washington together. These alleys are one of the last vestiges of the area's old ties to Cincinnati's stockyard past. A Cincinnati public services crew decided the alley needed an upgrade, an asphalt upgrade, and it created quite a mess. City officials call it a "rut filling" job; using tar and asphalt to fill the lower edges of the old brick alley in Camp Washington. Residents called it a disaster.Melinda Welch heard the paving crew and came running out of her home to try and stop it, "Several of the neighbors and my sister came out and we're like what's going on? These are historic alleys and how dare you pave these without our permission!"The city crew only got about half way down the alley with the asphalt but streams of ugly black tar made it the rest of the way.Donna curington's lived here for 24 years, "It hurt my feelings to be honest with you. Because it's ours. They had no right coming in. Now if they had asked us, we would have given our input and they wouldn't have did it."In emails with Camp Washington officials Joe Flading of Cincinnati public services said they " don't solicit public input for maintenance work." But he went on to say, "In the future, (they'll) we'll be more mindful when considering maintenance work on brick and granite paved alleys around town."Flading told the community council to take the alley back down to the brick would cost between $15 and $20,000 saying, "It's hard to justify this expenditure when we can barely keep the through streets in decent shape."To which Melinda Welch said, "We're basically saying no, if you had the money to do it in the first place, you have the money to do it. They're about all we have left and if this had happened in Clifton, if Clifton had alley's there would be a major uproar. I look out my kitchen window and I see tar, everywhere and that's not ok."City officials said because there's no money to fix the job what the community council needs to do is submit what's called a community priority request with the city. Such requests are considered annually and the next opportunity is next year.Local 12 was curious what you think about this policy and the city's mistake. Should the community have to wait and hope they qualify for the priority request program? Or should the city just go out and fix it?CLICK HERE to weigh in.

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