SAFFORD — Squatters, overflowing litter dumps and fecal matter are among the several issues that currently plague Little Hollywood.
The Graham County Board of Supervisors met Monday morning to discuss the ongoing squatter and litter problem in the Little Hollywood area. Also participating were the county’s Planning and Health departments and Sheriff’s Office.
Private land areas are littered with heaps of trash, mazes of broken refrigerators and skeletal remains of junk cars.
“From a health and safety perspective, the urgency is health. They’ve been there, they’ll be there, but I think the health issue is what comes first,” said Graham County Supervisor Paul David. “My first priority is health and safety.”
“We are (at risk of an outbreak); there’s definitely a (hepatits) A issue,” said Graham County Health Department Director Brian Douglas. “Cochise County is currently facing a hep outbreak.”
The Graham County Planning and Zoning Department has been working for more than a year on cleaning up the Little Hollywood community with what appears to be little to show for it. However, at this latest meeting, the board has a new plan of handling the squatting and illegal dumping situation on public lands.
The state of Arizona has granted Graham County the ability to post no trespassing signs on the slivers of public land in the Little Hollywood community. The proposed plan for handling squatters on state land is to post “no trespassing” signs, deliver violation notices to those who are trespassing, and then, after a defined amount of time, those who ignore the written notice will be cleared from the property.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to address this issue,” said Graham County Sheriff P.J. Allred, who added that the Sheriff’s Office routinely has to deal with unlawful activities in the Little Hollywood community.
Multiple members of the board stated that the nearest achievable goal was to disperse the individuals squatting and dumping trash and fecal matter on public lands.