Residents feeling drained by city hall encounters

December 30, 2013 

Residents left drained by water project

City Hall has eight storm drains, and chooses to add a ninth, a nice new “French Drain” for their city offices/parking lot.

Windward Drive has ONE storm drain on the street, and this neighborhood gets a 22-inch by 60-foot long black corrugated pipe. For over 10 years, we attempted to gain the right information about properties surrounding our property. We asked about “common area,” and “easements,” mainly, to understand how to deal with our property. It would be fair to say asking questions was OK, but, as then Mayor Hamilton said “we don’t have to tell you anything.”

In these 10 years we learned that, “common areas” can be given to a few residents for personal use, in this neighborhood a “VOLLEYBALL COURT.” (We were excluded from the decision based on plats).

In 2012, we learned “COMMON AREAS” are to be used for drainage issues in a neighborhood. However, Tega Cay did not use “COMMON AREA;” instead they used private property, for this neighborhood’s storm-water runoff, using “easements.”

Easement should not mean destruction of private property, as it did here.

As a taxpayer, there should be a notification system about work being done on or near your property/neighborhood. It’s simple: the city posts a sign, you discuss the project or oppose it and decisions are based on those discussions. This is not about zoning. It is about your neighborhood.

So, you might think you can call City Hall ask a few questions and get easy to understand explanations. WRONG!

For 10 years we asked Tega Cay officials about a storm drain that emptied next to our home and property, you would expect some sort of open honest discussion. We tried to get Tega Cay officials to come to some sort of cooperative arrangement to address the problems to help fix it.

The real lack of regard was astonishing.

In December 2012, an asphalt curb had been installed across the street, diverted more storm water, we again contacted now City Manager Funderburk, and before that City Manager Pieper, explaining the open storm drain problem again. They said they knew nothing about it. Sadly, in 1999 this information was not on our property map either. This resulted in a few private backyard discussions, which led to a disaster.

After all these years, we contended that this was a shared responsibility, between property owners and the city. After expressing the concerns for the land being eroded for so long, there had to be something done to alleviate the problem. A chance appeared, but we were misled. They knew our concerns and again we were ignored and disregarded. This is the work that apparently the city engineer decided on.

You would have thought that the city engineer who knew of this problem 10 years ago could have come up with a better plan than this.

They did not use the “common area,” which is what they are supposed to be used for. They even cut away more land, to an already diminished hillside, and actually used more private property. This is a real lack of regard. You do all you can to maintain your home and property, and then get taken advantage of, again!

We know there are better ways to do these things. It certainly won’t do much for your property value.

We even asked, why it couldn’t be buried, and I quote City Manager Pieper at the time said, “We can’t do anything on private property because other people might want it too.”

And since December 2012, city hall has touted that “they have over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS SAVED UP.” This is one reason why, they, Tega Cay officials, can brag about saving money, by taking advantage of citizens to do it.

Citizens should be owed some duty of care!

Dinah Baumel Strang and William Strang

Tega Cay

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