Council agrees to topographical survey

By Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

At its Monday meeting, the New Prague City Council approved doing a topographical survey of a portion of Prague Estates Seventh Addition concerning water drainage in residents' backyards.

Nearly 20 people attended the meeting, the majority of them residents along Seventh Street, Eighth Street Court, Ninth Street SE and Horseshoe Lane in Prague Estates Seventh Addition. They have had problems with water draining properly from their backyards, particularly in a city easement.

New Prague Planning Director Ken Ondich explained this was the third consecutive year the council has been asked to address the issue. The two previous years, it was determined the city was unwilling to pay the costs of materials or installation of corrective work. Reasons were that the drainage issues were caused by contractors or property owners who altered the grading and/or property owners with sump lines or drain tiles that were not connected to available drain lines.

Ondich said the residents recently submitted a letter about the issue. They noted there was standing water and tall vegetation in areas of their backyards.

Sean Crawford and Kerry Giesen, who both live on Eighth Street Court, spoke for the residents. They explained there were silt fences that had been removed causing silt to run into the easements blocking water. They felt that ordinances concerning the inspection of the area were not enforced. Some property owners have contacted local contractors for estimates to fix the drainage. They have heard repeatedly from several contractors that since it is in an easement the city should fix it.

Estimates for work ran from $1,500 to $2,500 for single yards to $5,300 for four properties in a row.

New Prague City Administrator Mike Johnson suggested with the number of residents affected the city could do a special assessment project. He noted if a resident chooses not to be part of the project, it wouldn't resolve the drainage.

New Prague Public Works Director Dennis Seurer said a field survey to check the topography of the land could be done.

The council approved the survey and will keep in touch with the residents about the process.

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