Fifteen Dold subdivision residents sought help from the Liberty Township trustees Wednesday night to prevent further flooding of homes in their west side neighborhood during heavy rains.
The trustees sympathized, but said there is little they can do.
Residents of the neighborhood across from Liberty-Benton High School are worried that developer Roger Best’s proposed addition of 47 homes could worsen their flooding. The homes would be added south of the existing subdivision and north of Gateway Church.
The trustees share residents’ fears.
“We are aware that there is a problem in Dold, and we want the problem remedied before they put any more houses in there because that is going to make your guys’ problem 10 times worse,” Trustee Shawn Beucler said.
Some of the discussion centered on an existing storm water retention pond which some believe is not big enough or has other problems. Best’s proposed 47-house addition would drain into the retention pond.
“Clearly we either need to expand the pond or add an additional pond,” said a woman who lives in Dold.
It would not be the first time something was done about the retention pond. One resident said some in the neighborhood once “chipped in” to fix the pond.
“We fixed the pond once,” said another resident, Brian Davis of Rum Run. “I’m going to assume that we fixed it right that time and that the (original) design wasn’t correct.”
Best, who was not at Wednesday night’s meeting, said earlier Wednesday the additional homes would not worsen residents’ troubles. He said the retention pond is plenty large, and he said he has engineers to back him on that point.
Best contends that the original developer, Dold, undersized the storm sewer line running from the subdivision to the retention pond. Best said the 47 additional homes will be connected directly to the retention pond by a new line that will be sufficiently large.
An outlet from the retention pond also is suspected of being partially blocked, according to Best and some Dold residents.
The trustees said they cannot do anything to stop Best’s development. Ultimately, it would have to be approved by Hancock Regional Planning Commission and Hancock County Engineer Christopher Long.
One woman at Wednesday’s meeting said flooding in Dold has been exaggerated.
“Not all of us had flooding,” she said. “Nor do we have a ‘flooding issue’ per se.”
At least one of her Dold neighbors would beg to differ.
“I just dumped $20,000 into my basement on account of the flooding issues,” Mark Greiner said this week.
“Some people have got 8 foot of water in their basement” when heavy rains occur, Greiner said.
“We live in quarter-of-a-million-dollar homes and everybody gets so freaked out when it starts raining that everybody’s going to lose everything they’ve got,” he said.
“People are scared to death that they’re going to lose their basements again,” Greiner said. “We just want what’s right. It’s not fair for us to have to keep worrying about our basements every time it rains.”
Ben Pursley, 9689 Eisenbrandt Ave., started out 17 years ago with the standard sump pump.
“Then we got flooded out,” he said.
Pursley got a second sump installed.
More flooding occurred.
So he got a third sump pump installed.
The three were not quite up to the task.
So, Pursley is now the owner of four sump pumps, and they are getting the job done, he said.
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