No Solution yet for flooded Rum Village homes - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

No Solution yet for flooded Rum Village homes


Rum Village residents have been waiting for answers about the water in their basements.  It all started over a month ago when an ethanol plant that had been pumping water shut down.  The water then had nowhere to go but into basements of nearby homes.  Wednesday night a meeting was held on the issue but no permanent solution was given.  A lot of different options were talked about, but council members and the Director of Public Works said right now they are gathering information and they have to look into every option to see what will pan out.  Needless to say residents want the problem resolved now.

Gracie Gomez and her family have had water in their basement since November.  Her daughter, Marilyn Velezquez, said, "the pump isn't keeping up with the water, the water just keep son coming, it doesn't stop."  They've been running a pump constantly since the problem started and that's really elevated their electric bill.  "we pay before like $60 and now we pay $120 a month," said Gomez.

Wednesday night residents gathered to hear from council members and the director of public works.  Gomez came to the meeting looking for at least some hope,  "we need a solution."  But that wasn't the case.  Director of Public works, Eric Horvath told the residents they're working on it.  They've drilled holes to determine where the groundwater is now.  Next they'll develop models to determine what will fix the problem.  "Will hopefully tell us if we can meet the need by only running one or two pumps instead of having to run all six of them," said Horvath.

Gomez and her neighbors were told it's not as easy as just turning the pumps back on.  Since the company that owns the plant has filed for bankruptcy the request to turn on the pumps would have to go before a bankruptcy judge.  And pipes would have to be re-worked since all the water that was going into the plant from the pumps can't go there anymore.  Then there's the cost, $30,000 a month to run the pumps

Council member Oliver Davis said he wants to get over the hurdles and fix the problem so people don't leave their homes.  "As city looks at abandoned homes we don't want to create a neighborhood with several abandoned homes," said Davis.

Meanwhile residents are frustrated.  They don't want to keep talking about solutions, they want to see one. 

Since the bankruptcy proceedings could make this all a very long drawn out ordeal Councilman Oliver Davis said he wants to find a short term solution to help the residents now, while they wait to see what can be done long term.

Another meeting about this issue will be held at the Rum Village Nature Center on February 7th at 5:30 p.m.  Before that two meetings will be held to address the issue of mold.  Next Wednesday January 30th at 6:30 residents can learn how best to handle the mold in their homes and receive free cleaning supplies.  The same meeting will be held Thursday January 31st.  You only need to attend one.


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