Whose Job Is It To Clean Up Railroad Tracks In Gulfport?

GULFPORT (WLOX) -- On one side of the railroad tracks it's fairly clean but cross them, and it's another story.  The North Gulfport Community Youth Council says a mini forest is sprouting up along East Railroad Street.

"We like for our neighborhood to look good, our yards to look good and having a track full of trees and stuff like that makes the neighborhood as a whole look bad," says Cordero Pittman, Council President.

But, a cleaner community isn't the council's only concern.

"My number one concern is safety,"says Veronica Mulazeem, council sponsor.

The group points the intersection of Polk and East Railroad Street and its potential to become a trouble spot, especially for children riding school buses.

"Even if there's a stop sign, when the bus takes off, you can't see if a car is speeding down the street to know to stop cause once it (the bus) crosses the track it can't stop," says Mulazeem.

Kris Rieman, the Director of Public Works for Gulfport, says the Kansas City Southern Railroad company is responsible for cleaning up land, on both sides, within 100 feet of the railroad tracks.  Rieman says at one time the city was trying to arrange an agreement with the company to help it clean up the area but nothing was finalized.  Land that lies beyond 100 feet is where the city's clean up begins.

"Whosever job it is they should do it, because our tracks shouldn't have to look like this," says Mulazeem.

"Our obligation is to help as much as we can, but we can't take a step unless we have someone to take a step ahead of us. If we can have someone take a greater step ahead of us, then whatever needs to done, we can do it," says Pittman.