Floating junkyard still afloat

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by Arrianee LeBeau, 13News Now

WVEC.com

Posted on January 16, 2014 at 3:53 PM

Updated Friday, Jan 17 at 6:10 AM

NORFOLK -- A “floating junkyard” is what some are calling a waterway at an inlet off the Elizabeth River near the Campostella Bridge.

Last month, the boat yard owner, Tim Mullane, told the City of Norfolk he would remove several vessels that clog the area.

Regina Freemont-Gomez said Thursday Mullane has yet to remove the boats and it’s affecting her family’s property and business.

“There's lot of time a money and energy invested to try and get the government officials to do what they are suppose to do. If you don’t impose penalties and you don’t impose fines, if you don’t take someone to jail what’s the point in them obeying the law?” Freemont-Gomez asked. 

Fremont-Gomez’s family hired attorney Jim Lang to deal with the eyesore. Last week, Lang said one of the boats was leaking oil.

The City Attorney’s office in Norfolk sent an email in December stating that City officials and Virginia Marine Resources Commission officials met with Mullane and obtained a commitment from him to remove six specifically identified vessels within a month.

The month has now passed and none of the vessels have been removed.

“You look at what’s happening out on this waterway. It’s a blight and it's damaging our brand. It brings down property values, it’s a blemish on the waterway and it’s a threat to public safety,” said Lang.

13News Now contacted city officials about the issue. Deputy City Attorney Cynthia Hall told 13News Now, “Mr. Mullane has been working on the removal of vessels for which he is responsible and which are not actively used in his business.  Regulatory staff plans on doing a site inspection in the next two weeks.”
 

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