Storm water causing erosion of farmland - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Storm water causing erosion of farmland

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JANESVILLE (KWWL) -

A KWWL follow-up to the story we brought you last week.

A retired Janesville couple living with a large storm drain in their backyard for more than 2 years.

The storm drain opens up onto their property and during major storms causes flooding the area.

The State Bank who owns the farmland behind the housing development, say they too have been working to solve the run-off issue for more than 2 years.

During storms, water from the entire subdivision surges out of the large drain and cuts a damaging path through the cornfield owned by the State Bank.

The water causing significant erosion along the way and exposing the roots of the plants.

"Degrading the property. We will probably not be able to plant it back into corn next year because of the erosion that has happened down there," said State Bank President & CEO John Rigler.

The developer, Jim Sands, told KWWL earlier this month that the farmer who owned the land in 2008 agreed to allow the storm water to drain there.

 But when the bank purchased the land several years ago, they were unaware of the deal.

"No, we did a title search and there is no recorded easement for water to be discharged on this property," said Rigler.

The Loys, who own the home where the drain is placed, have a similar story. The Loys say they weren't told about the drain before purchasing the home.

"I just want somebody to be held accountable for this. This should never have been built in this location," said Mary Loy.

The City of Janesville is withholding its final approval of the subdivision until Jim Sands puts in a retention pond to fix the issue.

The Loys' neighbors across the street have a drain pipe in their backyard that collects the runoff from about 8 homes.

The neighbors said it wasn't there when they first looked at the home.

It was then put in and that is when they decided to purchase the home; thinking all the water issues were solved.

The neighbors had no idea what was going on in the Loys' backyard. They say, when they did find out, they decided to approve the retention pond.

But the neighbors are among just a third of the homeowners in the subdivision who have agreed to the retention pond.

Every property owner in the subdivision must sign off on the storm drain change before the retention pond can be built.

KWWL spoke with the Janesville City Attorney, who says until the city gives the subdivision final approval the responsibility of the development remains on Jim Sands.

Jim Sands' engineer says they would like to get approval from all property owners and install the retention pond in the next six weeks.

However, it has taken more than 2 years to find a solution to the problem and several months to get one-third of the residents to agree.

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