GARRETT, Ind. (WANE)- For decades, the residents of the Woodview neighborhood have dealt with flooding in their back yards. Since then, many residents have gone to the City of Garrett and to the Dekalb County drainage board to have this problem resolved and have even made and signed a petition to get the ball rolling.
But, many felt they were being given the run around.
WANE 15 took some of those concerns to DeKalb County officials, and now it appears that the wheels are in motion for a potential fix.
One example came from Tonya McFerron.
McFerron moved to her home on Woodview Drive in November of 2022. McFerron and her husband moved to Garrett to start a new chapter in their lives to be closer to her children and grandchildren after living in Indianapolis for several years, but she said she’s disappointed in the city and the county.
“Why can’t they take care of us little men?” said McFerron. “I’m not rich, I’m not a business but this is mine, this is my melting pot,” McFerron explained.
After one storm, McFerron measured standing water up to 4.5 inches one day and it took two weeks for the water to drain away. When McFerron moved into the house last fall and was shocked by how much her yard had flooded, neighbors told her “Welcome to the water.”
McFerron went to the City of Garrett’s drainage meeting and was told it wasn’t their problem and that she has to talk to county officials. Once she spoke with the county, she said she was told her that the drains are broken, and they know about it, but they don’t have the time or money to fix them.
“If we can’t hold our elected officials accountable for what we are paying for, can I stop paying for my taxes until you fix it, no,” said McFerron. ” My husband is crying because he can’t get his garden going, he wants to buy floaters for his lawn mower we just bought, I am just disappointed.”
Other neighbors had reached out to WANE 15, sending in photos and explaining their horror stories dealing with the situation.
WANE 15 reached out to the City of Garrett and the Dekalb County Drainage Board.
Drainage board member and county commissioner Bill Hartman told WANE 15 on Wednesday that he would bring up the issue in their meeting on Thursday.
WANE 15 followed up with Hartman on Thursday. After a presentation with more flooding photos from another resident, Jess Abbott, Hartman said he recommended putting this issue at the top of the board’s to-do list.
Hartman said they’re now going through the process of steps it would take to fix the drains.
That starts with a surveyor taking a look at the drains and coming up with a new design. From there, the board will have to come up with cost estimates.
Hartman said residents’ drainage fees would be affected based off of the acreage of land they own.
The hope is to have all of that prepared to present at the April 13 drainage board meeting. Hartman said they would look at what the surveyor comes up and decide whether to move forward.
The next move would be to schedule a public hearing to get input from residents in early June if they do decide to move forward.
If everything comes together, work on the project could begin this fall, according to Hartman.