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Leland residents tired of dirt pile

LELAND -- Residents in a Leland housing development say they're tired of looking at a big pile of dirt in their neighborhood. They say it's because the developers aren't following through with the original plan for the land. People who live in the Westport development say they were told the land would be used for baseball and soccer fields and a playground. Tom Loftus is on the Westport Ground Committee. He said, "We're getting something we didn't bargain for and a lot less than we were supposed to get." Loftus lives in the Westport development in Leland. He says he likes living there, but back in March, he and his neighbors noticed something wasn't right. Loftus said, "Apparently the developer ran into problems with massive amount of waste material. It was earth with a mixture of earth with a mixture of logs, stumps, tailings, all kinds of, things like that, organic material and rather than truck it off the site what they did was create a massive berm." In March the town ordered the developers to move the berm -- but that hasn't happened. Now the town is reinforcing the order to get rid of the pile that takes up almost one acre of land. Leland Mayor Walter Futch said, "I wish the pile had been moved already, it had been grassed in and made to be what it was supposed to be in the first place. I think it's drug on way too long." Futch says he's doing what he can to support the people of Leland -- people like Cindy Dias, a Westport resident. Dias said, "We just spent $1,000 on planting a bunch of trees along my neighbor's back yard and our back yard just to get some of the debris from blowing into the screen porches." These neighbors say they just want to see their neighborhood become a good place for kids to grow up. Dias said, "Kids now need to get out and get some exercise and now you're going to put them playing in a junk field with pot holes and sink holes? It's just not right." Loftus said, "I'd like to see the soccer field here. I'd like to see this mess out of here." The baseball field has been built. Now residents are hoping to see a soccer field and playground -- and see the dirt pile gone. Repeated calls to the developers' attorneys have not been returned.

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