Westview Acres drainage concerns intensify

For the past couple of years, Mockingbird Lane resident Jim Duckwitz has voiced drainage concerns with the Waterloo City Council following heavy rains.

Following Thursday’s massive dumping of rain on the region, more issues in the Westview Acres subdivision were raised by some of Duckwitz’s neighbors during Monday’s city council meeting.

Duckwitz, who resides at 318 Mockingbird Lane, attended the meeting but chose not to address the issue this time.

“I’m actually lucky and didn’t have too much water in my basement,” he said, adding a recent re-grading of his yard may have helped.

He has dealt with flooding issues on several occasions over the past few years, however.

Instead, three of his neighbors took the podium Monday night after they encountered serious flooding in and around their homes Thursday.

City officials said they feel for these residents, but there isn’t much they can do.

“I pretty much live in a floodplain now,” Derek Dewilde, a resident of 325 Mockingbird Lane, told the council. “I might as well move to old Valmeyer. We live each and every one of our days by the weather forecast.”

Dewilde said there have been six serious flooding incidents in the past three or four years. His basement flooded on Thursday.

When Dewilde asked what the city advised Duckwitz to do after a 2011 engineering study indicated the subdivision developer implemented a drainage system for an area about three times less than should have been required when Westview Acres was built, Mayor Tom Smith said “we told him he can sue the developers, sue the engineer.”

But Dewilde said the key parties involved in the development and engineering of that subdivision are no longer viable.

Mayor Smith suggested another spillway may be needed at nearby Westfalen Lake, but the residents in attendance Monday night said the problem is water coming from out of a field and into the streets.

“Something’s miscalculated somewhere,” said fellow Mockingbird Lane resident Scott Burian. His finished basement was completely ruined by drainage issues caused by Thursday’s rain.

Norman Maxwell, who has encountered multiple flooding incidents at 425 Mockingbird Lane since 2007, said it’s obvious the drains are getting overwhelmed and there are no secondary options for the water to flow.

“It’s coming out of the field like a river and flooding streets,” he said. “How can the city not take responsibility for this?”

In other news from the meeting, the council approved the city’s fiscal budget that takes effect May 1, with no changes from what was reported in last week’s edition.

Public works director Tim Birk informed the council that bid-letting for phase two of the Illinois Department of Transportation’s planned Route 3 improvements has been postponed until May or June.

The council also approved a 65-cent monthly increase in trash pickup rates for residents according to terms of a contract with Reliable Sanitation.

Lastly, it was learned that the new Dollar General store on North Market Street is set to open on Saturday.

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Corey Saathoff

Corey is the editor of the Republic-Times. He has worked at the newspaper since 2004, and currently resides in Columbia. He is also the principal singer-songwriter and plays guitar in St. Louis area country-rock band The Trophy Mules.
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