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Battle Over Who Will Pay For Clermont County Sinkhole
A battle is underway over a hole in the yard of Clermont County Miami Township home. Local 12 News Reporter Angenette Levy learned more about the tug of war over what to do about it
The hole is on Scarlet Maple Court. Two homeowners are being told they have to pay to repair it since it's on their property. But - they and their neighbors say they shouldn't have to and the county should pay since a storm drain caused it and it carries water from three streets in the neighborhood. "Yesterday it was a torrent of water going through it."
Neighbors come by daily to see if it's grown. Bob Wetick says "It was discovered on May 13. I was cutting my grass and there was a slight depression. I asked my neighbor we inspected it and the bottom fell out."
Bob's neighbor Diane Welch says, "It was like the secret garden. You looked down in and it was a huge cavern just like when you go to Mammoth Cave."
Wetick says the collapse of a 38-inch storm water drain pipe caused erosion and the big hole on the border of his property and his neighbor's. He contacted Miami Township and Clermont County - to see what the municipalities planned to do about it. Miami Township put up an orange, plastic fence. "There is no assignment of responsibility for basic infrastructure. And that's what this is. It's basic infrastructure that was mandated, approved and inspected by the county."
On Thursday Wetick and Welch got their answer. They believe the county is responsible since the drain is on an easement on their properties. In a letter, the Clermont County Prosecutor's office said the county has no authority to take action on private property or to spend money on repairs. "Never in a million years would I ever have assumed that this would be a shared problem between me and my neighbors."
"This home has been my American dream and I don't really feel that right now."
Local 12 contacted Clermont County and officials with Miami Township, but have not yet heard back from them. Wetick and Welch said they're looking for a lawyer to explore what legal options they may have.