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Water-Logged Residents Seek Relief from Chronic Flooding

Residents are asking town officials to remedy long-standing flooding issues in their neighborhood.

Residents of Meadow Brook Manor, Hillside Circle and Hillside Court came out in force at Monday night’s Board of Selectmen’s (BOS) meeting to request relief from the town from regular flooding that has plagued their neighborhood for decades.

In the wake of two notable storms this summer and an unusually wet start to autumn, some 128 residents urged the town to find a way to address the issue and for town crews to be more proactive in assisting residents during flooding situations.

“We believe that it is the government’s responsibility to ensure there is adequate infrastructure to ensure the health and safety of the taxpayers and their properties,” Hillside Circle resident Will Meikle said. “The storm drain system is inadequate and has not been properly maintained and cleaned, leading to continual flooding of residences and roads.”

According to Meikle, the flooding compromises the neighborhood’s drinking water, creates an unclean septic situation and has caused thousands of dollars in damage to homes, driveways and vehicles.

“During the flood after , neighborhood children walked through the flood water that had run through septic systems to get to the school bus,” he said. “There is only one way in and out of the neighborhood. With roads impassible… there is the potential for a life-threatening situation if ambulances or fire trucks were delayed getting through.”

Hillside Circle resident Mike Mascola said during the last flooding incident, he and his two children had to unclog the storm drain near their house while town crews looked on.

“It has brought me so much rage that my 13-year-old and 12-year-old were standing in the street with rakes so one [storm drain] could continue to drain,” he said, “For town workers to watch me and tell me they [the pipelines] can’t handle the water, then to watch me clean out that drain.”

Mascola said that crews have told residents that it is a capacity problem, however “it’s not the volume” that creates immediate difficulty, he said, “It’s the clog in my drain because once I free it, it recedes.”

“I’m not saying there’s not inadequate draining,” he added, stating that that is one of the principle problems as well.

First Selectman Bill Davidson and Public Works Director Ralph Tedesco reviewed the situation in that neighborhood and found a set of engineering maps drawn in 2000 to solve the problem, however at that time there were issues with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), now the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP).

“Eventually, when you pipe the water out it has to go somewhere,” Davidson explained. “In this case, it was going to a property controlled by the DEP and they refused to give the town a discharge permit.”

In an attempt to find a solution, “We’re going to start at the end of the pipe to make sure we have somewhere to put this water and then work back,” he said, adding that the “neighborhood situation is appalling.”

Selectman Steve O’Reilly agreed that the situation “should be given a high priority.”

“We can’t promise that it would be solved before Christmas but I would hope we have a plan in place by then,” Selectman Howard Lasser said, asking the BOS to “figure out some kind of pro-forma for how much this is going to cost so that we can get some approvals tentative so that when we do have some engineering we can move quickly.”

According to Tedesco, the engineering plan drawn up a decade ago projected the cost between $600,000 and $700,000. Today, that cost would be “north of $1 million.”

“We are very frustrated,” said Hillside Circle resident Donna Sedlack, who has been dealing with this issue for 27 years. “I have missed many days of work, lost two vehicles… At this point, the system is so old we’re hoping that a concerted effort can be made.”

“It is not a request — we need this to be rectified,” she added. “We’re here as a community because we feel that we matter too.”

“You have our attention,” Davidson said. “It won’t be a quick fix but there needs to be a fix.”

Steven DeVaux October 04, 2011 at 10:31 AM
And they still haven't found the vandals responsible for over $15,000 work of damage in the neighborhood months ago. There's no accountability in this administration. We know how the Greenridge people feel.
Simcha Gralla October 04, 2011 at 10:15 PM
What does the administration have to do with the police not finding vandals?
Drew Turkenkopf October 05, 2011 at 03:10 AM
Cus they're the MAN, man. can you diggit?
Steven DeVaux February 03, 2012 at 08:24 PM
Well here Meadowbrook Manor residents go, five months going on six...going on TWO DECADES of politcal lip service, the latest coming from Bill Davidson, Howard Lasser and George Walker regards the solution to the flooding they experience. Excuses, excuses, excuses....and the rainy season approaches again for these poor folks. It's just not right to promise families one thing the day before an election only to forget and make no progress from the day after the election. Instead he's concentrated on building a beach house, a bike path and getting the charter changed so he can hire someone to do the work he was elected to do.
Jean Hartnett February 03, 2012 at 11:36 PM
I believe that an update on the Meadow Brook Manor flooding issue is approriate at this time. Since the Selectman's meeting in October the three Selectmen and the Town Public Works Department have been working on the issue with the the DEEP, Senator Roraback and Respresentive Scbribner. An update on the issue has been provided at each Selectman's meeting, The DEEP was on site on January 26th. We are currently waiting for DEEP approval that will allow the town to start the work of diverting the water.
Steven DeVaux February 05, 2012 at 11:41 PM
Good idea Jean, monthly updates will keep this issue on the radar.
Steven DeVaux June 05, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Kudo's to Max Sedlack for his appearance at town hall with buckets of much from the clogged drains the town has "claimed" to have cleaned. With septic fields flooding regularly and raw sewage rising from popped septic tank covers, the town Medical Office, the Town Sanitarian and the First Selectman should all have taken this as a far more serious threat to public health and safety than they have, especially when they have had six months. Meadowbrook residents should raise this health issue to the State Department of Health and ask for a declaration of a immediate public health emergency since the town has failed in it's responsibility to remove health hazards IMMEDIATELY, or condem all the properties.
Steven DeVaux October 26, 2012 at 10:47 PM
A year later, with the Perfect Storm bearing down on them for a direct hit of what could be the all time storm, are Meadowbrook Manor resident about to face raw sewage flooding their homes and streets once again? What is the town's selectmen and health director doing to prevent possible cholera and diptheria outbreaks with sewage floating in the streets of Brookfield? Where's that water draining to? What are the plans now before the disaster hits for them with over a year already past? Empty promises?
sock puppet October 31, 2012 at 03:46 AM
I would have just not purchased a house in an area that has been flooding for the past 27 year . . . .

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