Last summer we told you about a man living in Tech Terrace who had an obsession with junk. Carl Bagwell had been collecting and stockpiling junk for ten years, and some of his neighbors were fed-up. Not because Bagwell was a bad neighbor, but because they were tired of the eye soar at 24th and Akron.
When the city decided to take action, they soon discovered an underlying health and safety issue. Bagwell had no water, no sewer lines, no gas lines and his house was literally falling apart. The city told Bagwell to clean it up or they would be forced to tear it down.
So, nine months later, whatever happened to Carl Bagwell and all that junk?
It's been a busy nine months for Carl Bagwell. "I'm jacking up the garage because most of the base plate was rotted out. I put some braces in here just in case. Without braces it may fall down and crush me," says Bagwell at his home last week.
A handyman himself, Bagwell has been trying to fix up his house on his own. Stubborn and fiercely independent, Bagwell shunned the idea of accepting community development grants at first. "Mr. Bagwell, throughout this whole thing, didn't want any government handouts," says city of Lubbock community development manager brad reed.
But with a strict city imposed deadline and a rush to get it done soon, Bagwell ran out of options and has finally allowed the city to help him out. With that assistance, and the help of volunteers and friends, Bagwell now has running water, working sewer lines, gas and electricity and a much neater yard. He's also got a fresh coat of paint on the house and he's now getting a new roof.
"I’m trying to get the city off my back. They're tired of me and I’m tired of them," says Bagwell.
Neighborhood development manager rob Allison told us in November that Bagwell's situation had reached the 'nth' hour and the city was close to demolishing his home. Now, just a few short months later this case has taken a turn for the better and is close to being resolved. "It’s turning out that there could be a very happy ending to this case," says Allison.
"There have been a lot of good things and there have also been frustrations," says Bagwell.
The city says it will make one more inspection and will then comply Bagwell out. Community development supervisor brad reed says the city spent $11,000 getting Bagwell’s property back into shape. Bagwell now has a lien on his home, but he does not have to pay the loans back.
He simply has to live at that address for five years and he must maintain the property. Bagwell insists he will pay the city back.