"We patronize all these businesses, this is our neighborhood. We love our neighborhood. But nobody knows about the back," says West Brighton resident Lori Nola.
Nola says there's plenty to see in the back of this West Brighton strip mall, including overflowing dumpsters and garbage strewn across an alley separating businesses and the backyards of residents on Morrison Avenue.
Half of the alley is owned by the mall.. the other half by the residents...with both sides sharing responsibility for keeping it clean.
But its often strewn with trash - and Nola says that's created an even bigger problem: rats:
"They range from this big...to that big," she says.
When we visited... the rats were laying low... but we did see at least three rat holes...and plenty of bait placed by an exterminator.
We went inside the bagel store.. and asked owner Harris Zafar about the mess. He quickly agreed...it's disgusting:
"I'm so sorry...that's really bad...that's really bad."
One problem, Zafar says, is the container his store shares with a pizza shop for recylcables is too small and often overflows.
Another: the hauler that empties the container doesn't pick up the boxes that inevitably fall to the ground.
"Residents say they've been complaining about the issue since last summer, when they made several calls to 3-1-1 and lodged complaints with the city's Departments of Health and Sanitation:"
Those complaints never went anywhere.
But our we saw workers cleaning trash from the site shortly after we visited.
"This is disgusting; this is so disgusting," Zafar said.
Residents also want the alley repaved and a drainage system installed so runoff does not cascade onto their properties when it rains.
The mall's property manager, Robert Gershon, says he was unaware of the garbage...but says he'll make the site is properly cleaned and maintained.
The Health Department says it will send an inspector.
We will keep you posted.. to see if this site is cleaned up.