Some Metro-East residents have a stinking problem -

Some Metro-East residents have a stinking problem

( -- A sewage problem in East St. Louis is driving some people from their houses, but it is not a one-time problem.

Residents took their complaints to the East St. Louis City Hall about a broken sewer line, but city leaders told those residents they just don't have the cash to fix the problem. Despite repeated sewer back-ups and thousands of dollars in damages, officials say the issue is not a priority.

Three times a week, for three years, the public works department has pumped out an overflowing sewer line near 38th Street.

Clara Richards said the waste often backs up into her basement, so that proves the temporary fix does not always work. "I can't eat. I usually stay on the porch when it's nice to keep from being in that smell and stuff," Richards said.

Richards and her neighbors have attended monthly meetings for several years, but were told there is no money. On Friday, News 4 asked the new public works director why there was not money and now it appears there has been a breakthrough.

The new public works director said they made a budget amendment and allocated $300,000 to fix the broken line. Construction on the new line may happen within three months.


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