BETHALTO, Ill. – A Marine veteran in Bethalto, Illinois, says his lawn has been overrun with sinkholes that are getting worse.

Nathaniel Rainey said that to make matters even worse, his lawn is sinking.

“My lawn used to be up with that driveway over there, above that driveway, like a muffin top,” he said. “Now it’s more like a dish.”

Rainey said he once had one of the nicest lawns in the neighborhood. The veteran proudly flies his Marine Corps flag, but he said he has been battling a sinkhole problem for years.

He believed it was being caused by the City of Bethalto’s rusting sewers.

“The storm drain that runs around my property are broken, leaking, and rusted,” Rainey said.

He said he had contacted city officials with no luck in solving the issue.

“They been telling me it’s not their problem; it’s not their problem; they told me that the lines had been inspected,” Rainey said. “When I ask for an inspection report, they say they don’t have one, or they don’t have to keep it. I think I been getting the runaround.”

Rainey said he collected petitions, went to council meetings, and pleaded for help.

Bethalto Mayor Gary Bost said the city is not at fault.

“We’ve sent crews out three times with cameras and couldn’t find anything,” he said. “We’re more than happy to help Mr. Rainey if we could find out what we need to do to solve his problem.”

When Rainey requested to see the video the city took of its storm pipes, a public works director have this to say: “We didn’t keep the videos of them; we can go back out and shove the camera back in there again.”

Rainey said he has been fighting this battle for six years, and his property has been getting worse. He said he was just not giving up. The stakes are too high.

“It upsets me; I’m a veteran; I fought for my country,” he said. “I’m a taxpayer; I expect to pay taxes, but I also expect services from the city.”