Tags: Brevard County, City Destroys Family, Eminent Domain, Emotional Damage, Financial Hardship, FL, Home Owners, Melbourne, Space Coast Flordia, taxpayers, Utility Easements, West Melbourne, WestMelbourne
I posted HERE previously a post concerning what West Melbourne, FL has done to our home. They have added a sewer lift station directly in the street sidewalk area of my home – see large photos before and after on the West Melbourne, FL Photo page on this blog – tab is at top of the page. Consider the land was plotted for a subdivision in 1960 but the very first house was not built until 1976 in this neighborhood. Obviously they never took into account since then how to redesign a sewer system to service the neighborhood or surrounding areas. I find it shocking the City of West Melbourne, FL is now forcing homeowners to accept the attempts to bubble gum the sytems together in this manner. I say bubble gum because engineers have had to redraw this lift station in front of my house three times because they did not measure anything correctly nor pay attention to houses that exist where they wanted to put the lift station. I am not sure the St Johns Water Management folks have any idea this project has been handled this way but the sewers need to conform to new water service standards. I am also not sure if anyone else ever approved the redesign of the road right of way.
Last night the City of West Melbourne, FL had a city council meeting – regularly scheduled. It seems that last night the “Haven Drive Lift Station Rehabilitation” (doesn’t that have a nice ring to it?) was added to the agenda. I found it interesting that this subject was not mentioned to us ahead of time – but no matter – we have found it “interesting” to attend these meetings lately, so we were there. I went with my laptop and proceeded to take notes all evening. I don’t think our presence was fully appreciated at that meeting. The Public Works Director went by the job site (in front of our house) yesterday and took a few photographs – they look pretty close to my own although the full angle view was one that most of the city officers were not happy to have on the screen. Several of the council members mentioned they were by the house and were appalled or shocked at the mess and what was done.
The mayor of West Melbourne, FL felt this was not the proper time or forum to discuss the issue. As it was a public forum, when best to discuss it? After all West Melbourne, FL – this is a sunshine state – and the taxpayers, property owners, citizens have a right to know the full steam ahead attitude of its city in spite of the consequences to anyone.
The implicatons continue to be that West Melbourne, Fl is trying to please me and that they have compromised with us. We interrupted that train of thought more than once – I emphasized that the engineer and the building inspector on both redesigns realized that the project could not fit within a twenty foot wide easement that is actually only 18 foot wide. See why that is below.
They could not remove the underground cement box (inside that orange fencing) of the manhole cover housing the force main until ready to switch into the new force main. That limited their room pushing everything closer to the houses. That meant compromising the foundations by having to place wet well points to draw off the water -the holes to place all of the tanks go over 15 foot deep – almost 20 at places.
The two houses are only 18 foot apart due to a building error because the City of West Melbourne, Fl allowed the neighbor’s house thirty years ago to be built into the easement. Take a look at the photos I’ve added today. It is pretty obvious this hole and equipment would not fit in an 18 foot wide area without completely crashing the house foundation! They had no way to do anything but move it from that easement.
They did what they did because they could and they expect me to accept it. Was it “right”? You be the judge – what would you like to have out your front windows? Do you feel the actions of the City of West Melbourne, FL are how you want your city to treat you? Because a city has the right to do something, should they? Was it right to crush one family emotionally and financially because it saved the City of West Melbourne, FL time and money? Remember they feel they are not obligated to do anything to correct this with us financially – we are expected to accept — move along folks, nothing else to see here – we did it because we can! Thanks West Melbourne, FL. That’s a city that has the best interests of its citizens, its taxpayers at heart!
UPDATED JULY 21st, 2009 —
Incredible as it may seem, NO ONE has done any work on this project yet! Nothing has changed since my last photographs (although I do have plenty more dated ones to prove that) and our lovely eco-friendly(?) orange plastic fence still complements the lare hole and mud in our front yard. The promised landscaping has never been done. The road remains unpaved and still barricaded. We still drag our garbage cans down the street and walk to the corner for our mail every day – nice when it rains! I am not convinced that this isn’t a ‘get even’ compaign at this point. But that is fine – I have contacted a couple of TV stations locally and sent photos to them so we will see who is afraid of the local government or not.