More lodge complaints about runoff, property neglect

Owners given 30 days to correct maintenance problems

Sept. 21, 2010

River Hills — Neglected maintenance and flooding problems may involve more properties in the village than those highlighted at the August Village Board meeting.

At that meeting, three residents in the triangle bordered by Range Line, Green Bay and Bradley roads complained about a house with toilets in the backyard and two houses that have had blue tarps covering parts of their roofs for extended periods of time, roughly a year for one of the houses.

The residents also asked for help with stormwater runoff, saying they have had repeated flooding from higher elevations south of them in Glendale. Residents believed undersized or blocked culverts contributed to the problem.

Now more residents are coming forward with related problems.

At last week's board meeting attorney O.K. Johnson spoke to the board on behalf of Donna Martinez, who lives in the 9400 block of North Pheasant Lane.

Martinez said she has been unable to get a response from the Bank of America regarding the condition of a property abutting hers that is in foreclosure. Weeds are growing and the driveway is cracking, according to Johnson.

"In these economic times people have a tendency to walk away from properties," Johnson said. "There also can be people buying short sales and the property gets trashy."

Johnson noted that Grafton and Cedarburg have strict rules about property maintenance and he encouraged the village to look at its ordinances to see if they could be strengthened.

Since the August board meeting , Village Manager Tom Tollaksen said those residents with property maintenance issues have been given 30 days to correct the problems. The village also hired Bonestroo engineering firm to look at the culverts.

While Mustafa Emir, a Bonestroo engineer, did not find any problems with the culverts, the residents in the area said his review should expand to include where the runoff is coming from, not just the culverts.

Bertram Joerres joined the original group of three residents in expressing concern about the runoff.

"I had water within 15 to 20 feet of my front door (on Range Line Road) on July 22," he said. Joerres promised to return next month with a presentation on the flooding in the area, which originates not only in Glendale but also from the east side of Range Line Road in River Hills.

Tollaksen will ask the building inspector if he believes the ordinances need changes.

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