Kennewick Property Owner Facing Jail Time, Fines For Tire Dumping
Since they were first discovered in February, a huge tire dump at the end of East Game Farm Road in Finley is now going to potentially result in fines and even jail time for the property owner. A portion of the dump is pictured here. Numerous such piles are on the property.
Area residents noticed four months ago thousands of old tires began to pile up on the property owned by Gerardo Perez. They complained to county officials, and now our news partner KNDU-TV has learned he is facing a $5,000 fine and possible jail time if they are not cleaned up fast.
Benton County mosquito control officials are very worried they will turn into a breeding ground for the pesky, virus-bearing insects, and treating thousands of tires could compromise other control programs. With officials dealing with West Nile Virus, and potentially the Zeka Virus in the coming months, they cannot afford to expend resources on one location.
Benton County officials actually filed charges against Perez, using the 'unlawful storage of waste tires' ordinance. That's how bad the mess is.
Some of the tires have been removed, but neighbors say there's still far too many left, into the thousands. They just want it cleaned up.
Iris Herrin and her late husband lived at the end of Game Farm Road for over 40 years, and 5 years ago sold that portion of property to Perez, with a promise he would take care of the land. Herrin says the plan was to put some cattle out to herd in that vicinity, but with the tires and potential mosquito hazard, that won't happen.
Benton County Mosquito control officials will begin to monitor the tires in June to see if insects are breeding there.