Woeful response to couple’s wet yard

SEE VIDEO http://www.ottawasun.com/2011/06/25/woeful-response-to-couples-wet-yard

An elderly Barrhaven couple say they’re blowing their savings to fix the damage from flooding in their backyard because neither the city nor the builder will step up and address the drainage problem.

“We’ve spent about $4,000 on this lawn and we just can’t afford it anymore,” said Alice Publicover.

“We’re seniors and we bought this home for our retirement.”

It’s been three and a half years since Publicover and her husband, John, moved into a bungalow on Calaveras Ave., near Longfields Dr. and Berrigan Dr.

Roughly one dozen houses on Calaveras Ave. and Rodeo Dr. back onto a series of unfenced yards.

While the neighbours’ yards appear to be graded to shed water away from their homes, the Publicover’s lawn sits at least one foot below grade.

“Whenever it rains, all we get is a flood of water that just sits in our backyard,” said Publicover.

They’ve contacted the city and builder, Richcraft Homes, numerous times and neither side will take responsibility, she said.

“I don’t know whose fault it is, but I know it’s not ours,” she said.

Neighbour Jafir Jaferi also moved in three years ago.

“Somebody didn’t design it properly,” said Jaferi, adding he isn’t surprised by the inaction.

“The government is taking their hands off… and I guess there is no one who can force the developer to do the right thing.”

In addition to the money spent re-seeding and re-sodding the lawn, Publicover, an avid gardener, says four trees have died because of the excessive water.

And that has her just about ready to call it quits.

“We love this house and I really don’t want to move,” she said.

“But anyway, who would buy it in the condition that it’s in right now?”

She said the city’s forestry department have been sent out a few times but no solution has been reached.

“They’re cheapskates. The city of Ottawa don’t mind spending money on all this stuff, like taking Jim Watson to China and all these places, but (I’ll) be damned if they’ll fix the drainage,” she said.

Representatives from Richcraft could not be reached for comment Saturday.

City spokesman Barre Campbell said he would “be happy to investigate this when staff return on Monday.”

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