Flooded basement costing taxpayers money as it becomes health hazard

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on March 28, 2013 at 6:06 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 28 at 6:21 PM

(KMOV) -- As the record amount of snow melts across the bi-state, one north St. Louis neighborhood is dealing with dangerous health hazard at a home that has never been lived in.

A brand new home on the 4300 block of Delmar has become a breeding ground for mold, vermin and mosquitoes after basement became a flooded ‘urban swamp.’

News 4’ Mike Colombo first exposed the builder, Lathem Bell, in April 2012 who has since gone bust and abandoned the worksite and the problem.

Larry Connors spoke with city officials one year later to see what’s being done about this neighborhood health hazard.

Deputy Building Director Frank Oswald insists the city is working hard to keep the property safe but maintains it’s really not the city’s job.

“Well, I would say again, this is the owner’s responsibility’ Oswald stated.

He also adds that the city is not ‘washing its hands’ of the problem.  Crews have drained the flooded basement numerous times.

They have also attempted to take the current homeowner to court to allow a new owner to take over and provide a relief for the area residents and taxpayers.

Oswald says the city is frustrated because the owner refuses to show up in court. The city has condemned the property and could tear it down. That process would also cost taxpayers.

In the meantime, city plumbers are working to see if they can install a drain, in an attempt to fix the issue, once and for all.

 

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