CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A concerned Charlottesville citizen is taking matters into his own hands in hopes of protecting neighborhood kids.

Raymond Mason is concerned about a fence that surrounds a box culvert near Westhaven in Charlottesville's 10th and Page neighborhood. He says kids playing in the area could easily get past the fence and fall into the structure.

According to the city, the structure is carrying a stream with a base flow from Schenks Branch. The base flow in the open area of this culvert is less than 4 inches.

Mason says he's reached out to the city about repairing the fence, but after some inaction he decided to put up caution tape himself.

“They should’ve come out immediately and inspected it and put tape up, but I had to put my own tape up which I didn't have a problem doing because I’m all about safety for the children and this community,” says Mason.

He says city crews were working on an unrelated project nearby on Tuesday, June 5.

Response from the city of Charlottesville:

The City would like to thank Mr. Mason for his service call about the condition of the fencing structure adjacent to the box culvert on 7th Street NW. As an organization, we do our best to be as responsive as possible to every service request reported by our citizens.

As the call came in late in the day on Wednesday, June 6, City staff had little time to report, evaluate and respond to this particular service request but was able to schedule a City crew to install a support structure for the fence by the end of the day on Thursday, June 7. Staff attempted to reach Mr. Mason regarding his request but was unable to make contact.

We continue to encourage our residents to alert us to areas in the city that may need service attention, especially when it comes to public safety. A few weeks ago we launched a new service app called MyCville to give residents an easy way to report and track City service requests by mobile phone. Visit to learn more about this app and to download it to your Android or IOS device.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story called the box culvert a sewer system.