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Big mess left on Michael Avenue in Marshan Township

Trash, couches, chairs and a number of other items were strewn over Michael Avenue just south of Hastings either late Thursday night or early Friday morning. Star Gazette photo by Chad Richardson

The voice on the other end of the line told Jerry Kimmes that he had bad news. Indeed, the caller was right.

Kimmes learned early Friday morning that he had himself one gigantic mess to pick up. Late Thursday or early Friday, someone had dumped couches, chairs, old televisions, stereos and Christmas trees on Michael Avenue in Marshan Township. The clutter took up half of the roadway, and it was up to Kimmes to clean up the mess. He handles maintenance in the township immediately south of Hastings. Kimmes drove to the scene and couldn’t believe what he saw.

“When we got done, I don’t think we could have got more of anything into our two pickups and the car trailer,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Among the clutter was an address in St. Paul, and Kimmes turned that information over to Dakota County deputies.

Scenes like Friday’s aren’t new to Kimmes, and they aren’t new to any other township in the area.

“It’s not confined to just Marshal Township,” he said. “It’s a county-wide problem. It seems to be a growing problem everywhere. I’ve been doing this for 30 years. It’s gotten worse and I expect it to keep getting worse until they get the fines up there so high where people are afraid to do it.”

On another occasion, someone dumped a television off the back of a moving vehicle, spreading glass and pieces of electronics for about 100 yards.

Once, a whole mess of bicycles and bicycle parts were spread out in the ditch on each side of a roadway. Sometimes, while Kimmes is out cleaning up these messes, he’s stopped by area residents who think he’s the one doing the dumping. Kimmes is offering up $500 of his own money for information leading to an arrest in the case.

“We really don’t like doing this,” he said. “It’s not a morale booster. We’d sooner be blading the roads or trimming trees, or something that does some good.”

Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Kimmes at 651-437-8580 or the Dakota County Sheriff’s office at 651-438-4700.