I would like to congratulate the Columbia County Engineering and Environmental Services Department for dodging a bullet so effectively. They handled our case with such political deftness, it was almost staggering.
Our issue began a little over a year ago when the McDowell Woods subdivision was being built behind our neighborhood, Timberidge. We have never had more than typical drainage problems until the houses that were built behind ours were allowed to be sloped toward our property, with no provisions for water runoff but into our lot.
Several communications finally resulted in our being contacted by Engineering and Environmental Services, which sent representatives to our property. Me, my wife, and the two representatives met at our property, an indication that it was their intention for either the county or the builder to resolve the issue. After this meeting, weeks went by with no action. Meanwhile, we still have our neighbors water draining into our property.
Then, a few days ago, my wife and I received a nice letter from the department telling us that our case had been reviewed and essentially they were going to do nothing to help us. Further, that it is the property owners problem, not the county department that approved the building plan. Therefore, it is the property owners responsibility to take care of it. We would, in effect, have to sue our neighbors to get the problem resolved.
Why would we want to sue our neighbors when they are innocent victims, too? All they did was to buy a home where poor planning or an apathetic attitude caused this issue. I dont believe it is my neighbors fault; I blame our countys Engineering Department and the builder for this mess. By taking care of it, they would have been admitting an error in judgment. And as citizens, we all know that one county department would not cast blame on another, because thats not the way it is done.
So on behalf of my family and my pets, which cant even go into their own yard without becoming mud-puppies, I wish to thank Columbia County Engineering and Environmental Services for doing nothing except to make false promises, even as they insist we pay our stormwater fees.
While I have heard said that a neighboring county has become stagnant and impotent, you may want to reconsider before moving to this sister county. It appears that the governing body here has become a government - by the government, of the government, and FOR the government.
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