Belle Isle community steps up, helps clean up elderly couple's home

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BELLE ISLE, Fla. - Some residents in Belle Isle complained about a neighbor's junky yard and swampy pool, but Channel 9 learned a city commissioner decided to help instead of issue a fine.

Neighbors were worried about the terrible conditions at the St. Germain Avenue home, but volunteers stepped up to help the family clean up.

"You feel pretty bad looking at that," said neighbor Ruth Roder. "You know that it's our neighborhood."

The back yard pool was covered in green algae and looked like it hadn't been cleaned in years. Code enforcement came to check the home out after getting complaints.                 

"There was a neighbor who complained and voiced concerns about the pool in the back with mosquitoes and causing some contamination," said City Commissioner Lydia Pisano.

Officials said the Health Department tested the water and didn't find mosquito larvae, but it was still a mess and wasn’t the only issue with the home.

Neighbors said there was debris, old lumber and the grass was out of control, plus they said an old boat needed to go.

A broken water heater forced the homeowners to rely on buckets of water and code enforcement was ready to cite the owners until they discovered they're an elderly couple that has health issues.

The city decided not to cite them and instead reached out to the community for help.

"Our goal is not to issue citations and cite people. Our goal is try to solve the problems," said Pisano.

Pisano gathered up volunteers and they went out last week and cleaned up for two days straight.

When all was said and done, the residents and neighbors were thrilled with the community effort.

"I think it's tremendous," said Roder. "I think it's great."

Officials said no city funding was used for the project as the volunteers did everything.