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Springfield Neighborhood Upset With Gas Station

Residents in a section of Springfield say not only are drug dealers and prostitutes to blame...

Residents in a section of Springfield say not only are drug dealers and prostitutes to blame for the problems in their neighborhood, but that a gas station is making things worse.
From their front porch, Fredrick Sykes says that his 13-year-old daughter sees all sorts of things. Things he says that are not meant for young eyes.

"She even has asked me, 'Daddy, what are these women doing over here? Why are these women walking the street?'" Sykes says. "They walk the street day and night."

Eyewitness News' Staci Spanos reports that it is just one of the many complaints being voiced by residents of the northeast Springfield neighborhood.

Part of the blame, they say, should be placed with the people who manage a nearby Amoco gas station.

Neighborhood watch commander Jerry Dunn says that the service station is trashing the neighborhood in more ways than one. For example, Dunn says that the garbage hasn't been picked up in nearly a month.

"The garbage stinks, it blows out of the containers, it blows into people's yards to the point where we need to have something done about it," Dunn says.

Neighbors tell Eyewitness News that in addition to prostitution, they have seen a number of drug deals made at the gas station.

They also say that they know of one man who sleeps on the property, and they say that they are very angry at the people who manage the property because they don't appear to have done anything about the problems.

"This company needs to be a member of our community, and being a member of our community means keeping the drug dealers out of their parking lot," Sykes says.

Spanos spoke with Ron Hagan, the district manager of the company that manages the Amoco and nine others in the area.

He told Spanos that the trash buildup is not a normal occurrence. According to the district manager, the company is currently having a battle with its waste management company.

As for the criminal activity, the district manager says that if his employees see it, they will call the police.

Sykes says, in his opinion, the station's management company hasn't done enough, and he is disgusted with the situation.

"Because it's not getting (any) better," Sykes says. "Because someone is supposed to try to help us maintain a decent community.

Eyewitness News has learned that the company that owns the dumpster behind the gas station came to clean it up after Spanos left. In fact, the company took the dumpster, too.