Appleton neighborhood wants lunch-break problem to butt out

Local News

“There’s one that parks across the street over there, there’s the one that parks over by my driveway, there’s one that’s on the corner over here,” said Jennifer Campbell of Appleton. “It’s comical to where we’ll text each other like, ‘We have another one.'”

They were here before some of these families moved in, and they might be here after.
A business across the street reportedly pours out into this Appleton neighborhood, and residents say it’s become a popular spot to take a break.
They say employees pick a house and park outside, leading to a lot of awkward stare-downs and paranoia.

“We feel uncomfortable, so our children end up coming in from outside,” said Campbell. “It’s affecting our life where any time they pull up and park, children know enough to come inside, we shut our garage door.”

We caught up with one of the employees who has spent his breaks here since last May.

“There’s no other real parking area close enough because you get a 15-minute break in the morning and a half-hour lunch,” he said. “And by the time I get to where I’m going, it’s time to go back.”

Appleton police say these people are not breaking any laws.
Some families are complaining about the cigarettes they leave behind, but unless they are caught in the act of tossing a butt, there is nothing that can be done.
The gentleman we spoke to says police have made that much clear.

“‘Are you littering?’ He’s looking out for cigarette butts and whatever. I said, ‘No, I’m just here having my lunch.’ He says, ‘Feel free to stay here if you want.'”

Neighbors say they plan their days around the employees’ break times and that there is always a cleanup.

“Cigarette butts are in the road, on my sidewalk, the side grass area,” said Campbell. “So, I’ve been picking up cigarette butts since February when I moved in here.”

The company has designated break zones for employees, but since no laws are being broken, the gentleman we caught up to has a better solution.

“My resolution would be to just leave me alone,” said the man.

A statement from Thrivent reads:

 “At Thrivent, we believe maintaining a healthy, tobacco-free campus contributes to our employees’ safety and fosters a positive work environment. Using tobacco products on company property – including buildings, driveways, parking lots, walking trails or any other area owned by Thrivent – is not permitted. This policy includes electronic cigarettes as well.

 If they choose, we offer employees in Minneapolis and Appleton a range of smoking cessation resources, including meeting with a Thrivent health coach to discuss strategies to stop smoking.”

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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