Seaview Terrace resident continues flooding fight against cityneighbors upset by signs
By Ben Holbrook | May 09, 2012
According to a post on Allen’s website, belfastbullies.blogspot.com, she recently received a letter from City Attorney William Kelly telling her to stop harassing city employees. However, Allen contends she hasn’t been harassing anyone and is trying to get answers as to why the city isn’t addressing the stormwater issue behind her home.
“I’ve been requesting information about an ordinance regarding storm water drainage,” Allen said while standing outside City Hall. “I want to see where the ordinance says the city can drain water into private waterways.”
When asked if she had any concerns the city would take further action against her to stop her protests, Allen said she consulted with the chief of police to make sure what she was doing was legal.
“I’m just going to take it day by day,” she said. “I don’t want to break the law, but if the city doesn’t address this issue I will never be able to leave because I can’t sell my house.”
During a Tuesday, May 1, City Council meeting, Bud Hand, a Seaview Terrace resident, asked councilors if there was any action they could take to get Allen to take down a number of large signs she has posted on her property.
“I invite any of you to drive over to Seaview Terrace and have a look at my neighborhood. If you come to Seaview Terrace — except on a rainy day — when you turn in you will see one residence and you will see very large signs,” Hand said.
Hand, who brought photos of the signs posted by Allen, said the signs have messages such as, “City Corrupt,” and "City Manager and Planner bully the residents.'
“My purpose in submitting this is to see what action the city council can or will take in regards to eliminating the signage, or any recommendations you can give for actions the Seaview Terrace residents can take,” he said.
During a phone interview, Hand said he is waiting to hear back from the City Manager to determine if anything can be done to get Allen to remove the signs.
Allen has been battling the city since the spring of 2011, a few months after she moved into her home on Seaview Terrace, when the spring snow melt caused a large volume of water to rush down the stream behind her home; a stream she was unaware of before.
The course of the stream between the Seaview Terrace homes and what is now the Waldo County General Hospital annex was shifted in the late 1960s to make way for the construction of a new subdivision, of which Allen's house was a part. The natural waterway originally ran beneath where Allen's home stands today.
Environmental regulations relating to stormwater management were different then, and the stream diversion probably didn't draw the attention it would today. Nor did the developer make provisions for future developments in the area that would increase the volume of water trying to find its way to the bay, and starting in the 1980s lead to flooding in the homes on Seaview Terrace.
Seaview Terrace is designated as a flood zone, which is why Allen is questioning the legality on the part of the city to direct water into the stream behind her home.
“I want to make sure that water isn’t being dumped into that stream. I’m hoping through raising awareness the city will put in storm drains,” Allen said.
A letter dated from Feb. 17 from City Manager Joseph Slocum asked Allen to stop bringing up the same flooding issue at city council meetings. In the letter, Slocum said that after discussion with the city attorney and council it was determined nothing more could be done by the city to address the issue.
During an interview with The Republican Journal, Slocum said he felt it would be inappropriate to use city funding to address an issue that wasn’t created by the city.
“If a city plow truck hits your car then it’s only fair that the city pays to repair your car,” he said. “We have not created or exacerbated the issue.”
Slocum also said the issue of drainage is a problem that is not relegated to Seaview Terrace. He recalled an incident where a woman had a hill behind her home, which was causing water to run down the hill into her backyard.
“I understand her [Allen’s] frustration and anxiety but I don’t have a budget that says to put in ditches and culverts wherever we want,” Slocum said. “As a City our priority is to keep water off of the roads.”
As she continues her fight, Allen said she hopes someone will look at her situation and offer to help; however, she said she sent a request to the local Occupy Maine group, but didn’t receive a response.
“Belfast is such a great place and I want to be out volunteering," Allen said. "I don’t want to be out here being miserable and causing problems."
Ethan Andrews contributed reporting to this story
Republican Journal reporter Ben Holbrook can be reached by calling 338-3333 or email@example.com
Post a Comment