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Central homeowner dealing with backed up drainage, seeks city's help

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CENTRAL - Abigail Sproul and her family moved into a home in Central back in May, and they have had problems since the very beginning. The main problem is a runoff drain, which is public property, that flows water and whatever else right into her yard.

“We've been dealing with a lot of runoff water in our backyard,” said Sproul. “Recently, we had sewage in the backyard, and it was stinking really bad. We couldn't even go outside.”

Not only does runoff water build up, but due to a recent parish pump failure, raw sewage pumped right into her yard, creating a noteworthy stench.

“We don't know what actually went back there,” she said. “That could be contamination, and I don’t know who knows what kind of stuff could start growing back there,” continued Sproul.

Homeowners say they have been voicing their concerns to the city of Central for months.

“They said they were going to work on it, and they would get back with him and somebody would come out here,” said Sproul. “Then they said they were going to get something together and try to fix it, but they never really did something about it.”

Even city officials agree, runoff water onto public property is not a proper drainage solution.

According to director of Central's municipal services, David Ratcliff, because the public street drain flows onto private property, the city has to get permission before it can do any work.

“Once we get to the out fall in the street, then we're in the natural drain, which is outside of our area that we have authority to enter without the homeowners approval,” said Ratcliff.

The previous owner of the home says he too reached out to officials for help to no avail. Ratcliff came out to the home as soon as News 2 called him.

When asked why it has taken the city so long to fix the drainage problem, Ratcliff assumed responsibility.

“This is the first to my knowledge that I'm aware of it,” said Ratcliff. “(I) don't know what happened. I'm fully responsible for it, and I take accountability.”

Despite there being some bureaucracy to get through before any action is taken to correct the problem, Sproul says she's tired of the run around and wants the problem fixed quickly.

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