Contact 2: Homeowners Dealing With Drainage Problems

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FAIRVIEW HEIGHTS, IL (KTVI)-- A water problem is getting out of hand in a Fairview Heights subdivision.  Homeowners say rainwater doesn't drain and they need help.

The standing water attracts bugs and damages property.  A couple of home homeowners thought they could turn to city hall for help.  Homeowners like Donell Russell dread heavy rains.  "It has nowhere to go.  We have no drainage system or anything the water just stagnate."

Russell says you can see the water line near the bottom of his fence.  Cecil Hudson says he and his wife moved to Stacy Street 16 years ago. He thought something was going to be done a decade ago.  One day the city left a bulldozer near the property according to Hudson.  "The next day they were going to get to digging and then they tabled it.  Just all of a sudden just tabled everything," she said.

Mayor Gail Mitchell says he rented the bulldozer thinking he could dig a trench so the water would run to a sewer drain in the street.  "The street supervisor said Mayor you can`t do that.  Utility lines are out here, if you tear them up then you`re in trouble," he stated.

Russell says, "It was told to me that the easement was our property  and if anything is going to be done, we were going to have to do it."

The Mayor says homeowners share the easement 50/50 and any repairs are their responsibility.  But Hudson and Russell say they can't afford it.  Not to mention what's happening to their property according to Hudson.   "Oh my property value, I got no property value.  If I tried sell my house, I couldn`t even sell it."   According to Russell it`s hard to enjoy his backyard.  "I can`t even let my dog out because of the knats, the mosquitoes, and now we`re finding dead birds and stuff."

Russell says at one point he offered to bring in a load of dirt to fill it in.  But according to the mayor he'd have to get permission from all of the homeowners along the easement.   Hudson and others want help from the city on this matter.   "My wife has multiple sclerosis.  And I got to look out for my family.   But these people have did nothing, they care nothing."

One thing this story tells us, consumers must understand the homeowner's responsibility when buying property.  If you have a consumer  issue call us at 800 782-2222.  Volunteers take calls Monday through Thursday from 11am till 1pm.