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After Two Years, 'Shingle Mountain' In Southeast Dallas Is One Step Closer To Being Removed

Dallas resident Marsha Jackson, her back to the camera, looks up at the pile of shingles known as Shingle Mountain.
Keren Carrión
/
KERA
“Shingle Mountain” is seen from Marsha Jackson’s home in Southeast Dallas, on Wednesday, August 5, 2020.

The City of Dallas is getting closer to actually removing Shingle Mountain, a massive mound of shingles and roofing materials that's piled up in Southeast Dallas.

The monstrosity sits next to residential housing and has been there for two years.

Earlier this month, the city asked contractors to bid on the mountain's removal. But Marsha Jackson, who lives next to Shingle Mountain and is the co-founder of the environmental group Southern Sector Rising, said the announcement was no call for celebration.

"We can't get excited yet," Jackson said in a text message in early September. "We've been told this over and over and it's still here."

On Tuesday, the city announced that nine bids came in for Shingle Mountain's removal, ranging from less than half a million dollars to more than $3 million.

Council member Tennell Atkins, who represents the area where Shingle Mountain sits, said in a statement that City Manager T.C. Broadnax is recommending the "lowest responsible bidder." The City Council is expected to make a decision on October 13.

Environmental and social justice activists have long called for the removal of Shingle Mountain. They've said it's taken too long to remove Shingle Mountain.

"It's really just cruel that it's taken them this long. We don't know what clean-up means," said Evelyn Mayo, the chair of Downwinders At Risk. "We don't know when they are talking about it and we don't know how long this is going to take. So without that level of detail it's just words."

Earlier this year, Southern Sector Rising formerly launched a campaign asking social justice leaders and members of the faith community for their support.

They gave the city a deadline of Oct. 1 to begin hauling Shingle Mountain away.

In August, activists gathered at Dallas City Hall Plaza to demand the removal of the massive mound of debris.

“This has been here too long. We’ve been fighting. I’ve been calling the city since February 2018. Nothing has been moved. Not one shingle has been. None at all,” said Jackson in August.

“Shingle Mountain is the poster child of what environmental racism looks like. For you to build a mountain of shingles right next to a community is a shame,” Dr. Frederick Haynes of Friendship-West Baptist Church said in August.

On Wednesday, Southern Sector Rising, a coalition of Dallas environmental activists, will host an event at the dump site at 5 p.m. According to the Facebook event page, they will be calling for the designation of Shingle Mountain as a public health emergency.

Got a tip? Alejandra Martinez is a Report For America corps member and writes about the economic impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities for KERA News. Email Alejandra at amartinez@kera.org. You can follow Alejandra on Twitter @_martinez_ale.

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