Dunbar woman takes refinancing problem to mayor, city manager

Resident Tambitha Blanks said she wants action after the results of high arsenic levels at a former dump site in Dunbar changed things for her.

“We just want it cleaned up,” Blanks said. “That’s the only thing that’s going to resolve anybody’s issues.”

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Banks expressed her concerns with Mayor Randy Henderson and City Manager Saeed Kazemi on how the former dump site has affected her life.

“I didn’t think it would impact us like it did,” Blanks said. “I really didn’t.”

Blanks was denied refinancing for her home due to “soil contamination,” according to a letter sent to her in October from a lender.

“They said we didn’t have any collateral because they consider it a hazardous area,” Blanks said.

Blanks then took her concerns to the mayor after an interview on WINK News where he asked community members to do so.

“I told him you wouldn’t want to live in this stuff,” Blanks said. “It’s in our community and we want our community back.”

Henderson responded by saying he wished “she would have reached out sooner.”

Henderson and Kazemi cited the test results showing no health risk as a reason for the lender to reconsider.

“My belief is that it’s substantial enough to make a new decision,” Henderson said.

However, if that is not possible, Henderson added there are other lenders in the area.

SERIESClick here for complete coverage of Dunbar toxic sludge site

When asked what responsibility falls on the city, Kazemi said the city will take the first step and hopefully provide closure for homeowners like Blanks.

“We are responsible to go and clean it up,” Kazemi said.

Kazemi said the city will not continue with testing, but the Department of Environmental Protection requires additional testing of the arsenic levels at the site.

The city plans to clean up the site in less than a year, Kazemi told WINK News.

Watch the full interview with WINK News anchor Britni McDonald:

Anyone interested in making a public comment on the site can do so here.

Reporter:Britni McDonald
Writer:Rachel Ravina
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