Drainage Issue has Citizen Feeling Ignored by the City of Tallahassee

Drainage Issue has Citizen Feeling Ignored by the City of Tallahassee

Joleen Williams has wrestled with the City of Tallahassee over drainage issues since work began next to her home in the area of a major electric utility easement.

The work, which included altering the slope of the land, has resulted in flooding of her property during rainstorms.

Ms. Williams, who lives in Paradise Village East,  a low income neighborhood of mobile homes located in the southeast corner of Apalachee Parkway and Capital Circle Southeast, told Tallahassee Reports that after months of complaining the City has failed to address the issue.

In fact, in response to a claim filed with the City,  Ms. Williams received a letter from the City’s risk insurance vendor stating that:

the City of Tallahassee had no direct involvement with the reported loss and will be unable to assist you with this matter.

The letter went on to refer Ms. Williams to an employee of the Hooper Corporation located in Madison, Wisconsin.

At this point Ms. Williams said she feels ignored and betrayed.

“All I get is phone calls asking what do you want us to do, I do not have the answers” said Ms. Williams. “They are the experts. They need figure how to stop the flooding and then figure out the damage their actions have caused.”

A visit to the site shows visible damage caused by running water.

The picture below shows a hole next to an uneven sidewalk in front of her mobile home.

Ms. Williams believes that based on the City’s recent experience with the lack of sidewalk maintenance, the condition pictured below represents  a public safety issue.

Uneven sidewalk in front of Ms. Williams’ home.
Hole caused by running water next to sidewalk.

During heavy rains, water appears to run through her yard and under her mobile home. A water pipe that once was underground is now fully exposed and Ms. Williams fears she will have a problem with mold.

Tallahassee Reports talked to a City employee in the Risk Management Division who was familiar with Ms. Williams issue, and were told that “it is still up to the contractor to fix the issue.”

She added “this is very unfortunate, but this is how the law works.”

Ms. Williams does not understand the process.

” I live in the City and I pay my taxes, why do I have to deal with someone in Wisconsin. I should not have to hire a lawyer to get this resolved” said Ms. Williams.

Barrier put up to keep water out of Ms. Williams’ property.
Exposed PVC water pipe on Ms. Williams’ property.




3 Responses to "Drainage Issue has Citizen Feeling Ignored by the City of Tallahassee"

  1. Perhaps Ms. Williams should “accidentally” trip on the uneven city sidewalk on her property. A payment of $100k should be forthcoming as the city recently set a precedent for “sidewalk trips” as a payout for $100k was made to a city commissioner’s wife recently who “tripped” on a city sidewalk.

    Happy tripping!

  2. A city employee is quoted here as saying “this is unfortunate but it is the law”. Perhaps. But is it ethical? Maybe it’s time to have our new ethics officer take a look.

  3. I have had similar issues with the City of Tallahassee. This has been going on for decades. They pretty much just do what they want, no land surveys and destruction of property, light poles where they deem fit, forget the right-of-way. But if YOU divert water, if YOU try to use your land the way you want, they jump down your throat. And, if you do anything to your property, you get harassed, fined and penalized. I got the same thing, letters and run-around until I just gave up. You either sue or get the shaft. And if you sue, the lawyer takes half the money and you still can’t fix the problem. Unfortunately, she’s gone public. Had she not already drawn attention to the issue, I would have said for her to quietly build a berm, a flower garden, a water diversion. The problem with that is that you just push your problem off to your neighbor. Man, I could tell you the stories, but I have flowers to tend. ; )

    COT leaves you no choice.

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