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Omaha homeowners raise concerns again about undermined street

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:59 PM CST
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A dangerous situation has resurfaced in a neighborhood just northwest of Omaha. A 6 News Investigation two years ago led to a fix.

After fixing the foundation of the undermined North 67th Street two years ago, developer Keith Edquist says he fulfilled his obligation to the neighborhood and his attorney agrees.

“He has no obligation at this time. He did it last time because he felt some personal responsibility. But he has no legal responsibility,” said John Green Developer’s Attorney.

But Northern Hills homeowners don’t agree and they’re deeply concerned again.

“Oh scary, of course, it’s going to keep washing away and a school bus comes down here,” said Joe Combes.

Neighbors say the undermining is on the move.

You can see the depth of this undermining and neighbors say this shows the problems and the dangers are just flowing down the street.

Developer Keith Edquist blames poor drainage from a sundeck home lot and the builder won’t comment. But homeowners have dug deeper into development history to name who they think is responsible for fixing the undermined street.

“Six figures to fix this road. The county the city and the developer don’t want to pay it. They want to put the money on to us. No, no,” said Dawn Van Sloun.

The city says it’s not responsible for repairs on streets the developer had built.

“They hired someone to do it and the roads were done appropriately,” said John Green Developer’s Attorney.

Douglas County’s engineering manager has a different view of the development streets.

“It was not in my opinion and the county’s opinion constructed properly actually for drainage. That’s the exact reason why we’ve never taken over the maintenance because we saw this coming, and we wanted it fixed before we took it over. Never happened,” said Dan Kutilek.

So Douglas County won’t step in either but advises that a homeowner’s association be formed.

“And raise the money through a mill levy that would be collected by the HOA to fund and take care of their neighborhood,” said Kutilek.

But to rebuild the poorly built streets, homeowners say they shouldn’t be forced to dig into their pockets.

“The developer and the engineers should be getting together and let us know what needs to be done and they should with the help of the county and the city,” said Andy Mayer.

The deep divide over who is responsible may cause a long legal fight. So the safety issue isn’t just about pointing fingers but crossing them for drivers on the undermined street.

So far, the 61 property owners haven’t formed a homeowner’s association. A neighborhood leader says that’s to avoid being responsible for street repairs.

However, they can contribute to a fund for hiring a law firm to investigate who is responsible. In the meantime, the country has put caution cones on the partially undermined street.

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