Manlius (WSYR-TV) - Neighbors around an abandoned home in the town of Manlius have watched a vacant pool grow mold and gather dead animals for years. But they haven’t been able to get the town to help clean up the property since officials have said they lack the authority to seal the pool.
Dead frogs float in the vacant pool, which the Onondaga County Health Department has declared "unfit for swimming or wading" and “a potential mosquito breeding hazard.”
The neighbors around the residence have taken the matter of the pool into their own hands until a permanent solution can be reached.
“We have been putting shock in it, algaecide, and those little mosquito pellets for the past three years,” said neighbor Linda Procita.
The neighbors aren’t just concerned about mosquitoes; they worry about the property’s security.
“There’s kids who wait for the bus right here on their driveway and this spring I saw them going in where the pool is,” said Procita.
Last week, neighbors had to rescue a cat that had fallen into the water.
On Tuesday, a town code enforcement officer, Dave Corbit, visited the house to survey it. He says the town has contracted out the work to mow the lawn at the abandoned home, but he isn’t sure why they haven’t shown up yet.
“I’m surprised it’s not mowed yet, because we did get the okay last week,” said Corbit.
But the water is the county’s responsibility. After a few notices to the homeowner go unanswered, the health department will drop a mosquito dunk, which is made to ward off the bugs for up to 90 days. The dunk is scheduled for the property for Thursday, but the pool itself could remain open to vermin and other animals until the town adopts a new code policy that allows them to seal vacant pools.
“It’s a great idea, because this is not the only pool that’s like this,” Corbit said.
Until then, residents will need to keep an eye on the pool.
Cicero and Oswego code enforcement departments adopted a similar vacant pool policy this year. The town of Manlius Code Enforcement officer says they may now be looking into it as well.
If you want to report a vacant pool near you, call your County Health Department. Onondaga County's residential health department can be reached at (315) 435-6617.
We reached out to the homeowner Timothy Gordon, he was not available to comment.