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Valley businesses in unincorporated area want sand off streets

Valley businesses in unincorporated area want sand off streets

THOUSAND PALMS, Calif. - "It's just a ton of sand, there's more sand than I know what to do with," said Dillon Walker, manager at ScreenMobile in Thousand Palms.

For Walker and dozens of other employees who work in the Thousand Palms business complex off Varner Road and Metroplex Drive, getting to and from the office each day means driving through a sea of sand.

"There's a lot of sand constantly blocking us here in the driveway," said Araceli Ramirez who works at Classic Party Rentals.

For months the sand has been piling up, but we're told not much has been done to clear it.

"They usually street sweep once every two weeks or so, but within a day it's back to where it was before they street sweeped and it took them all day to clean up," Walker said.

In unincorporated cities, like Thousand Palms, the county is in charge of maintaining the streets. We contacted Riverside County's Department of Transportation.

"The mission and focus is to keep the roads safe and clear of hazards, but the county is not required to do regular street sweeping, aside from making sure vehicles can travel the roads safely," wrote Riverside County Public Information Officer Raymond Smith.

"I think there can be more effort made by the city, especially here by the freeway. It's just constantly bad every week, I don't feel there are any improvements really," Ramirez said.

We provided the county with a list of streets local businesses were concerned about. It took note by sending a bulldozer Tuesday to clean up the sand, but the road post-cleanup was still covered with sand.

"I didn't know there was a bulldozer. Maybe that can be done every month as maintenance so that we as a business don't have to do it all the time or hire extra help to do it," Ramirez said.

"It doesn't matter they need to put like a wall or something up," Walker said.

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