SAN ANGELO, TEXAS - An ongoing controversial topic will finally come to an end today.
Many city residents say they’ll no longer camp under the bridge and instead follow the city’s ordinance by cleaning after themselves.
"To them it seems like trash and that's what they have labeled us as" Tent city residents said.
June 1st has arrived and that means Tent City Residents must pack their bags and go. Some will head to the Salvation Army while others will find other lodging. City officials provide us with the role they will play now that the tents are being packed up.
"It’s important to note that the members of the department are going to treat the situation as humanely as possible and continue to refer people to the resources we have available” San Angelo Police Department Public Information Officer Tracy Gonzalez said.
Officer Tracy Gonzalez tells me they prefer a conversation first but if Tent City Residents wish to not obey they will then have to take action.
"Progressing from that conversation and giving a verbal warning we would issue citations and if those are ineffective we do have that responsibility to enforce an ordinance and an arrest will follow but that would be the last resort” Gonzalez said.
Although tent City Residents will be evacuating the area many residents worry they will move to another location such ad private property.
"In any enforcement action that we would take on private property would have to come to the direction of property owner and we would handle that like any other law that would be on violation” Gonzalez said.
Now tent City Residents tell me they were given until 10pm tonight to pack their bags and go and they are doing it in the safest, cleanest and respectful way possible.- Reporter Sally Jaramillo said.
The Texas Department of Transportation has been overseeing the process.
"Part of our mantra here in town is to keep San Angelo beautiful and we want to have the liter picked up we want to have a clean right of way and we provided these trash bags to these individuals who have graciously filled them for us but we also had to pay contractors to fill up those bags” TXDOT Officer Karen Threlkeld said.
Over 100 Trash bags a week are collected in this location.
"It's costing TXDOT 200 dollars a month to pay contractors to pick up these bags” Threlkeld said.
"Most people don't realize that most people in community are just 2-3 paychecks away from being homeless” Gonzalez said.
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