North County residents raise decades-old concerns about a creek eroding their properties

The problem stems from Maline Creek, and it runs north and south of I-270 in North County.
Published: Oct. 3, 2022 at 10:21 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Sink holes, rodents, shifting foundation and more. It’s a problem some North County residents have been dealing with, they said, for far too long. The problem stems from Maline Creek, and it runs north and south of I-270 in North County.

“It’s so bad in my backyard I can’t even let my kids in the backyard. There’s snakes in the front, back, the raccoons, the beavers,” Loretta Hall said.

It’s an out-of-control problem that’s plagued this neighborhood for half a century.

“I moved here in 1977. My problem has been raccoons and snakes that get into my garage,” resident Rodney Smith said.

Now, several residents said it’s getting worse.

“When I first moved out here in ‘72, it was about the size of a bucket. Now, you can almost put a car in it,” resident Charlene Jackson said.

Neighbors said as Maline Creek continues to erode, there’s been minimal change.

“I’ve been out here since 1971. All I got was promises. This is not my property,” another resident said.

Monday, nearly two dozen residents came out to talk with News 4. Many of them have been raising these concerns for years.

“I walked to 300 homeowners and I got signatures about this creek,” Jackson said.

Jackson sent those signatures and a petition for a change to the St. Louis County Council and lawmakers in March 2021.

“Nothing has been done,” Jackson added.

According to St. Louis County’s property lines, parts of Maline Creek are private property. This means those property owners are responsible for creek clean-up.

In 2019, the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District (MSD) went to voters with a $500M proposal for water measures, like fixing up Maline Creek. County residents, then, voted no.

“We need funding and we need help here in North County,” another resident said.

This year, MSD applied for $80M in federal funding. If approved, roughly $17M of that would be dedicated to new projects near Maline Creek. Some of which, MSD said, they’ve already addressed previously.

“This creek needs to be developed because people can almost walk out of their back door and fall right into the creek because it’s eroding the whole area. Like I say again, we do a lot of talking and no action,” Smith explained.

We reached out to St. Louis County Councilwoman Sholanda Webb who represents that area of the county. She did not get back to us.