SWANSEA, Ill. – A homeowner’s nightmare is causing headaches in one metro east neighborhood. With no help, Swansea, Illinois, residents are desperate for action to solve a sinkhole problem.
Dan Meirink has a sinkhole that is several feet long and a couple of feet deep in his backyard. He said it has gotten worse as recent rains have moved through.
“This has been going on for 20 years, but it was usually just this little section here,” Meirink said. “Me and two or three of the neighbors would get dirt and push it down, but never like this. I don’t know what to do.”
Meirink is one of eight neighbors that share this space behind their homes. They said the flooding has exposed a storm drain that has become a hazard.
“It’s rusted out at the bottom, and it needs to be probably replaced and filled in,” Meirink said.
He said his family has concerns for their home, their neighbors, and their safety.
“We have the grandkids that come out here, and we really don’t want them to get hurt,” Meirink said. “There are other kids in the neighborhood that coming running through, we don’t want them to get hurt.”
Meirink asked the City of Swansea for help, but they said they could not since it was private property.
The city manager for Swansea said in the following statement:
“The Village has a cost-sharing program in place to help homeowners mitigate and resolve stormwater issues on their properties, similar to other surrounding communities. The application for the Homeowner Stormwater Conveyance System Improvement Grant can be found on our website. The Village budgets funds every year that are then allocated on a first-come, first-served basis for selected projects. While we encourage residents to apply while funding is available, applications will be kept and addressed during subsequent funding cycles.”
Meirink said he hopes the City of Swansea can help with the issue.
“I think the city is responsible and is there for the community,” he said. “That is my hope that they’ll come out and take another look at this and re-evaluate, help us out.”