Metro East city wants stop First Student from donating 'swamp' land

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by Elizabeth Eisele/ KMOV.com

KMOV.com

Posted on June 22, 2014 at 9:45 PM

Updated Sunday, Jun 22 at 11:42 PM

(KMOV.com) – Notorious bus company, First Student, is in the hot seat again but not over their buses, instead because of a plot of land in Illinois.

The property that First Student wants to donate to the O’Fallon, Illinois school district, but the city has an injunction to stop First Student because the land may be a health concern for residents.

City officials and residents describe the land, at the end of St. Ellen Street, as a swampy mess and home to critters like mosquitoes, snakes and frogs. Rob Here lives along the property and says the water has been on the land for years.

“The mosquitoes are bad, real bad,” he explained, “I have an 11-month-old and we don’t come outside when it’s flooded, because of the water.”

City Hall says they received complaints from residents.

“This has been an ongoing problem for three or four years,” said Alderman Jerry Mouser, “There’s been complaints for this for at least that period of time.”

Mouser said the city thought it had convinced First Student to pave over the lot, but that plan fell through. And now First Student would rather just give it away to the school district.

“We don’t want to fight with the school district our issue was with First Student,” said Mouser, “If they want to blacktop it and give it to the school we’ll show them all the love in the world. But that hasn’t happened.”

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