Image: Storm drain

(Source: WNEM)

Flooding across parts of Michigan has families forced to clean up their yards and drains once again.

Residents in Birch Run said the rain and backed-up drains have made a mess of their properties.

They took their concerns to the county drain commission and found out in order to fix it, they would have to pay.

Residents reached out to TV5 to ask the tough question and find out why this is happening.

“We constantly get this all the time,” said Lyn Drielick, Birch Run resident.

For 30 years, Drielick has seen his front yard turn into a lake every time it rains a little more than usual.

He said it’s all because of the drains on his street failing to do their job.

“The people behind us, they get a river running down their driveway and they have to go through about two and a half feet of water to get into their house,” Drielick said.

He said that issue is only getting worse.

He said that is why he and five other homeowners took their concerns to the Saginaw County Drain Commission.

“We signed the petition and they said they would consider our request, survey the situation, and then we could split the cost between the county, the township, and the homeowners here in the area,” Drielick said.

However, Drielick wants to know why he has to pay money to have the problem fixed when he already pays taxes to the county.

TV5 took the tough question to the Saginaw County Public Works Office to find out what Commissioner Brian Wendling had to say.

“That’s the way the drain code is structured or set up, those partial and or properties that receive benefit from the drain are those that are going to pay to have it either improved or enhanced,” Wendling said.

Wendling said the issue over restructuring the drain is one that only affects those on that block and that it takes at least five residents signing a petition in order for work to be done.

Now that the petition has been signed, they can begin reviewing their request and start to act on it.

“It’s not a matter of suggesting that they have to pay more than anybody else, but there are parcels and properties within the township that don’t receive any benefit from that drain,” Wendling said.

However, Drielick said he’s still not happy with the idea of having to pay more.

“You know, water conditions it could be alleviated, you know so it is very frustrating,” said Drielick said.

The public works office said once the petition has been reviewed and validated, the process to rebuild the drain could take up to 18 months before it’s repaired.

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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