'It's not a trash can': Punks dump 5,300 lbs. of tires in church parking lot
Could east side churchgoers really be on the hook for hundreds of dollars in clean-up costs? KGUN9 News finds a solution.Photo: Video by kgun9.com
CREATED Aug. 2, 2013
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Someone dumped dozens of big rig tires in a church parking lot, and the congregation braced for a big clean-up bill. Could east side churchgoers really be on the hook for hundreds of dollars in fees? KGUN9 News finds a solution.
The punk or punks unloaded the 40 old semi tires one night this week, according to Palo Verde Church of Christ on Kolb near 22nd Street. Those tires sat in the parking lot for days. Some are worn out; some are blown out.
“This is a parking owned but the church so it's not a trash can,” said youth and family minister Travis Moore.
“It’s a little disconcerting that people just think they can drop their trash off instead of them paying to get rid of the tires,” said church office manager Diane Reminder. “They expect a church to do it.”
The church received rough estimates for tire collection that totaled upwards of $500. KGUN9 received an estimate from one service that was $500 to $600.
“It's a very expensive load of tires since they're semi tires,” said Gerardo Murillo, owner of El Tingon Menny’s Tire Shop.
“We're down to about 150 members now, and we have to think really wisely about where our money gets used,” Moore said.
Sticking a church with a big bill, the criminals behind this are also guilty of dumping. In this case, that could be a felony.
City and county officials said this kind of large-scale dumping is rare in the city. It's usually a few tires left here and there in Tucson, one official said. The sheriff's department reported it normally sees these kinds of messes far out in the desert.
KGUN9 called a local tire collector, El Tingon Menny’s Tire Shop, which agreed to take away the tires for free.
“Really? That's awesome,” Reminder said, and Moore agreed.
El Tingon staff did a lot of heavy lifting. Each tire weighs about 132 pounds, according to product manuals. That’s around 5,280 pounds total.
“We're just trying to help them out,” Murillo said.
“You don't see that very often: someone doing something so kind,” Reminder told Murillo. “We just really appreciate it.”
Is there a Sunday sermon in all of this?
“It reminds me that the choices that we make do affect other people,” Moore said, adding he’s willing to forgive the culprits.