Westlake needs to address sanitary sewer problems

In my opinion, there are four things the city of Westlake has failed to display toward solving the sanitary sewer system inadequacies: I have never received any communication from the city concerning my basement filling with sewage. I have never seen the mayor initiate any type of response to the sewer back up. I have never seen any type of plan to investigate or resolve the problem (for SIX years!). The city sewer system is clearly inadequate after 20+ years of neglect.

I have repeatedly asked the engineering department for proof of activity and proof of plan. I have visited the engineering department and mayor at City Hall and I repeatedly receive nothing in return – zero, nada. I send emails and make calls and receive the same.

Is this a national security issue? Should not the residents receive some type of communication and commitment to resolve the problem? The mayor has buried his head in the sand and the engineer has gleefully obeyed his manager to "keep costs down."

There are two individuals at city hall who have influence here: the mayor and the city engineer. In this letter, I’ll comment on the mayor’s performance. In the next, I’ll focus on the city engineer.

I spoke with the mayor for about an hour earlier this year. His response to me about the sewer system backup was this:  "Several years ago, my basement was flooded from the rain." Huh? This is his response to a problem the city should be resolving?

At least three times in the past six years (and it may be more than four times), the Westlake sanitary sewer collection system has flooded and backed up. Yet no plan has been started to create a solution or investigate the situation. 

I’ll give the mayor the benefit of the doubt and state that this is probably a difficult situation – until you realize that the city has neglected the effect of the city's growth on the sanitary sewer collection system. The city has a brand new city hall – unnecessary. The city has a brand new recreation center and park – unnecessary. But the sanitary sewer system has been neglected and is now causing major problems.

The city can redeem itself.  Now that American Greetings is moving in, the city’s coffers will expand. How will that money be spent? The city needs two plans: one to determine a solution and another to implement. Show me the plan.

– Paul Makuh, Westlake

Paul Makuh

Paul Makuh lives in Westlake.

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Volume 3, Issue 13, Posted 6:37 PM, 06.28.2011