Greg Ellars of Shady Avenue in London says his backyard stinks. At least when it is full of water.

That is why he went to the London City Council meeting Thursday night to bring his drainage problems to the city’s attention. His efforts may pay off.

During the public comments portion of the meeting, Ellars took to the podium to ask the city for help with his drainage problems.

He said he had gone to council about a month ago with the issue, and was grateful to the city for their support in advising him to fill in his yard. “I’ve been having problems as you know since about 1985. The problem is, I am too nice, because if I do my yard as you guys said, I am going to flood the lady behind me. It will make it worse on her and my other neighbors.”

He pointed out that a neighboring church parking lot, “has no drainage back there, and I was told I would have to sue the church, and I am not going to sue a church.”

But he said what is needed is drainage “back behind the church property” and cited flooding issues in peoples’ homes nearby. He said when it rains, sometimes the water gets up to his car door in the alley. “So it is a major problem. You guys have been great, and filling in my yard will help me, but it will be bad for everyone else.”

He asked if there was any way they can get a drain back there, or talk to the church.

Mayor Patrick Closser responded, saying, “What we can do is have Bill go take a look at it, he is our new street superintendent. I understand that you don’t want to sue a church. Who wants to sue a church? From what I’ve heard in the past is that this is a civil matter.”

However, he said what the city can do is try to be mediators. “Let us take a look at it,” he said. He suggested getting together with Ellars, someone at the church, and “maybe talk to the pastor there. Maybe we can all sit around at a table and say, how can we fix this? What can we do to fix this? Bill might have an idea after he looks at it, and even if there is nothing the city can do because it is on private property and a civil matter, we may have ideas about what they can do to help the problem out.”

Closser said they will find a time when they can bring everyone together and, “Try to work as a team to get this worked out.”

“I would appreciate it. My backyard stinks. It floods and I even went to the Health Department about it,” Ellars said.

In other business, because there was no “super majority” quorum at the meeting and the need to pass the Ohio Public Works Commission funding resolution, council scheduled a special meeting for Monday, Oct. 23, at 6:30 p.m. in the London City Council Chambers. Immediately following this meeting council will be holding a Storm Water Utility meeting.

Closser reported to council that the storm water utility projects are “moving right along.” He said repairs in the Stewart and Graham areas are under way and they will be completed soon, and the city will move on to another project.

“The 100 year flood was a horrible event but we were able to see the areas that needed repairs. I can say that since that event, not a day has gone by where we haven’t worked on the issues from assessing to funding and then repairs,” he said.

By Gary Brock

Reach General Manager/Editor Gary Brock at 937-556-5759.