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Ironhorse homeowners petition city for drainage solution

By Kayleigh Rahn
The Tuscola City Council–during its meeting Monday, June 10–started a conversation that could lead to a solution to a drainage issue in the Ironhorse subdivision.

For several years, there have been multiple instances of localized flooding/back-ups in Ironhorse homes, according to a memo from City Administrator Drew Hoel.

“It is apparent hat this is attributable to the failure of a drainage tile that was installed along the rear property lines during subdivision development, primarily as an outlet for private basements and crawlspace drainage,” wrote Hoel, an Ironhorse resident. Most of the homes in the subdivision are connected to this tile either directly or through a sump pump discharge, he said.

Ironhorse Homeowners Association president Dennis Opperman said the tile has collapsed, has been filled in by dirt, or has been compromised by tree roots in several locations.

“The tile was installed, reportedly, as something of an afterthought by the developer,” he wrote. “It was not noted on the subdivision plat, and it was not dedicated as part of the public improvements.”

This also means that no entity or public agency “owns” the tile, rather it’s the responsibility of each homeowner as it passes through the various properties. This also creates a difficult task in locating the areas of failure.

“This is the primary challenge in addressing the problem – there is no responsible agency to coordinate any replacement or repair,” Hoel wrote.

Hoel suggested bypassing the existing tile with a storm-sewer quality pipe that is dedicated on a right-of-way easement to allow the city to own and maintain the system in the future.

However, this solution could come by way of a Special Service Area that would require only the Ironhorse residents to pay for the repair and upkeep rather than the general population.
The full story can be found in the June 12 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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