Missionary Ridge homeowners want city to fix their sink hole

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – If a storm water pipe belonging to the city breaks on your property…who has to fix it?

That’s the question a Missionary Ridge couple has asked the city of Chattanooga..and they don’t like the answer they got.

The Robbins’ family has been living in this home on the side of Missionary Ridge for almost a hundred years.

Recently, a storm water drain pipe that they say the city installed in 1920 collapsed under their yard, causing several sink holes.

Eva Robbins says “I’m worried about my mother, because she’s always gardening, and now there’s these six foot deep holes, that, sinkholes that are appearing in her yard, I mean, where’s the next one going to appear?”

Bonnie and Bill Robbins have lived here since 1962. This is not the first time they’ve had problems with the city-owned storm water drain pipe.

Bonnie told us “I have been talking to the city about it, way back in the 70’s. Back in the 70’s we had a hole to come in the front of our yard here, due to the storm drain, and they came out and repaired that.”

But this time…the response from the city was different.

BONNIE: “I said, you’ve got the water draining off of Crest Road onto private property and it’s destroyed that piece of property up there, and now it’s coming down here and making holes in our yard down here on the lower portion of our property, and you can’t do anything about it? ‘No we can’t do anything about that’. So they came out and cleaned out the drain.”

Amy Lowdermilk from the Mayor’s office sent the couple a letter which read in part—“it is the responsibility of then property owner to accept and convey run-off.”

Bonnie Robbins says they were quoted a figure of 38-thousand dollars to fix the sink holes.

“We’re retired people, I mean if you’ve got any savings, something like this could just, I mean – you might not even end up with money to bury you, you know what I mean? You got to have a funeral. My husband’s 87 and I’m 77, ‘course you gotta pay your property taxes.”


Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Local News

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