Staten Island Neighbors Fear Neglected Pool Is Health Hazard, Seek Help Cleaning It Up

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Staten Island residents say they fear a neglected pool in the neighborhood is a health hazard and no one will clean it up.

After exhausting all options, one family turned to CBS2 for help.

Giuliana Guzzo tells CBS2 when she moved into her Tottenville home seven years ago, she never thought she’d have to deal with something like this.

“Foul smells, I’ve noticed ducks swimming in that pool,” she tells CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock.

The story gets worse for her family of five. The putrid pool is the perfect breeding ground for nasty bloodsuckers.

“Mosquitoes, tons of mosquitoes,” she says.

She shared a photo of her 5-year-old son’s back covered in bites.

“If you’re out here, within the first 30 minutes, you’re getting bit — guaranteed,” she says.

Guzzo says she has tried everything from calling 311 to reaching out to her councilman and the health department.

“When I first moved here in 2011, I tried reaching out to her,” she says.

She says, simply put, the homeowner, Christine Papasso, didn’t greet her with a smile.

“I tried to take care of it myself by buying mosquito ducks and throwing them in, chlorine tablets and throwing them in,” she says.

To try and get some answers, Murdock knocked on the neighbor’s door. No one answered.

A spokesman for Councilman Steven Matteo told CBS2 he has made multiple attempts to help, first with a friendly letter. Then, the borough’s Clean Team knocked, wanting to do the job for her. She looked through the window but never came to the door.

Without permission from the homeowner, the Clean Team can’t step on private property.

“I just want her to realize it’s a health hazard,” Guzzo says.

The Department of Health told CBS2 they inspected the property in 2015 and sent an exterminator, but the owner did not grant access. With a new complaint filed, they plan to send out an inspector.

It’s something many residents face with problem neighbors — problems that are tough to resolve.

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