Mayor Ortiz recognizes plight of the residents, but says city can’t use its funds on issue for which it’s not responsible.
Residents of Swanson Drive and other concerned parties addressed Syracuse City Council at their May meeting about their concerns over creek erosion near their properties. Thirteen people were in attendance specifically to discuss this topic.
They voiced concerns over development north of town that had caused a worsening problem over the last few years.
The amount of concrete covering ground that had soaked up water in the past (specifically at Love’s and the new hospital) was a major point of their complaint.
They also noted issues specifically when the culvert has become clogged with debris and causes water flow alteration.
Council member Alan Britton responded by saying that the city was not responsible for the erosion and flooding of their properties.
He noted that all new properties were required to develop in such a way that water does not leave the property faster than it did prior to development.
Britton made comments that the developer of their homes had brought in dirt to build up the land out of the flood plain prior to development, and this was possibly part of why they were having these problems.
The frustration was palpable as they pleaded with City Council for some type of solution to the problem.
One attendee suggested that they put rock and other things into that side of the creek to prevent further erosion and asked if that would be a problem.
Britton stated multiple times that the city is not the “creek police,” and the council members could not comment on what residents were allowed to do with the waterway.
Mayor Tomas “KC” Ortiz was more sympathetic to their plight when addressing the group. However, he explained that the city only has a certain amount of money to spend on projects and other expenses involving the city. The money would have to come from somewhere, and he didn’t think that the citizens of Syracuse would want to spend that much on a project that wasn’t the city’s responsibility and would only positively affect a few.
Through further discussions, they were advised that they may be able to receive advice from The NRD. Attendees thanked City Council for their time and agreed to proceed with that avenue for possible assistance.