Genetta Tomnitz, who lives at 109 Judy Brook, wants the city to pay $200 for cleanup costs she incurred when sewage backed up in her basement after she notified the city that they had a problem with the drain.
Tomnitz said sewage and water backed up in her basement Nov. 8, which caused some damage. The basement is unfinished so the cost she’s seeking reimbursement for is mostly for cleanup.
“I notified the city weeks before the backup that there was a problem,” Tomnitz said. “I had my lines checked and the plumber said your lines are clear, you need to contact the city.”
Alderman Jerry Eversmeyer confirmed that he had been contacted about Tomnitz’s concerns when she heard gurgling sounds coming from the sewer drain after she had the laterals in her yard videoed, proving that they were clear.
Tomnitz said the insurance company denied her claim because there was no prior problem in the line.
“I told her (the insurance representative) that I had contacted the city,” about the problem, Tomnitz said.
City Administrator Harold Selby said he requested that MIRMA, the city’s insurance company, reconsider the claim. There was grease in the line and it turns out that Tomnitz lives downstream from McDonald’s.
“McDonald’s is required to have grease traps cleaned out every four months,” Selby said. “If it is shown that McDonald’s is the contributor of the grease, they (MIRMA) may go back on McDonald’s to pay for her claim. I need to see proof from McDonald’s.”
Alderman Mike Pigg said he feels the city should pay the claim.
“If we knew three weeks before that we had a problem and we didn’t fix it then we took on responsibility for the problem,” Pigg said.
Alderman Mike Bates agreed.
“Here’s a special case where she did what she should do and an alderman verifies it,” Bates said. “I think we should reimburse her and go to MIRMA then to McDonald’s.”
City Attorney Dan Vogel said he did not disagree with reimbursing the property owner, but wants to confirm the circumstances.
“Let’s find the facts before we act,” Vogel said.
Tomnitz asked that she be notified after the city researches the sequence of events.