Flooding victims still unhappy with drainage issues
SUMMIT COUNTY – Key West Farms resident Karl Bierbaum said he intends to pursue legal action against Summit County for drainage problems he claims the county helped create.
Bierbaum filed a notice of intent to file a claim against the county in November, and now says he intends to follow up on the notice.
Last September, Bierbaum and his wife, Janet, settled with Keystone Resort/Vail Resorts after the couple sought injunctive relief stemming from flooding to their home, flooding he attributed to grading changes created by the construction of Keystone’s new golf course.
Keystone’s lawyers then agreed to repair the lower level of the Bierbaums flood-damaged home to its pre-flood condition, give the couple and their 2-year-old daughter lodging in a Keystone condominium during the renovation, work with the county to correct the drainage concerns remaining on the Bierbaums’ property, and pay the couple’s lawyer $25,000.
But Bierbaum’s current beef isn’t with Keystone, he said this week.
“The house has been fixed,” he said. “But it still could happen again. My concern is our property still has water coming across it. The water is a hazard for the entire community. It’s not a little puddle. If a kid falls off a bike and ends up in a ditch, he’ll be in two or three feet of water.”
Keystone’s River Course opened in 2000, and the Bierbaums say flooding issues first sprang up during the course’s construction in 1999. Because the drainage system from the River Course feeds into the county’s system in Summit Cove and KeyWest Farms, the two entities joined forces to solve the problem.
Bierbaum’s notice states the county failed to “properly, adequately or timely develop the measures necessary to prevent the flooding of excess waters in the area of the undersigned’s property.
“At this time, as a result of the flooding, the property owners have suffered a diminution in market value which may exceed 50 percent of the value of their property, have suffered annoyance, inconvenience, aggravation and may have developed physical or allergic reactions caused by the development of molds and other materials in the area of the drainage basin.”
The notice said anticipated damages could exceed $300,000.
Bierbaum said his request of the county is simple.
“We want them to enforce their drainage code,” he said. “I think they think we’re going to go away, and we’re not.”
County officials said they could not comment.
“The notice was forwarded to our insurance company,” said County Commissioner Gary Lindstrom. “Because of him filing a notice of intent and pending legal action, I wouldn’t comment.”
Jane Reuter can be reached at 668-3998, ext. 229, or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
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