C.P. flooding woes lead to heated discussion

2012-05-07T22:45:00Z C.P. flooding woes lead to heated discussionBy Susan Erler susan.erler@nwi.com, (219) 662-5336 nwitimes.com

CROWN POINT | Dick Sauerman, husband of City Councilwoman Laura Sauerman, argued Monday with Mayor David Uran over what he said are long unresolved flooding problems on his property.

Dick Sauerman told officials Monday at the City Council meeting he'd sought help from the city for flooding issues long before his wife, a Republican representing the 4th District, was elected to the seat.

The Sauerman family in 1965 donated to the city nearly 50 acres now occupied by Sauerman Woods Park and the Hub Pool, he said.

Residential development near the Sauermans' home at 113th Avenue and U.S. 231 has overwhelmed a city-installed retention pond built years ago to contain drainage, Dick Sauerman said.

He said he woke up Monday after a night of heavy rainfall in the area to "the eerie sound of silence, with no traffic on 231," which was closed temporarily because of flooding.

"I'm sick of this, and a lot of people are sick of this," he said.

City Engineer Tris Miles said a 10-year-old plan to resolve the problems had been refused by state officials and that plans now are to run a culvert under U.S. 231 and improve the roadside ditch.

In an exchange with Uran, Sauerman said he hadn't been told easements to his property were required before the plan could be carried out.

Pressed by Uran on how many meetings he'd had with officials over the problem, Sauerman said, "That's a bunch of bull."

Uran said the city has spent millions in recent years to resolve flooding issues in an attempt to improve things citywide, and continues to do so.

Laura Sauerman, who'd been shut out of the discussion between Uran and her husband, said afterward Dick Sauerman hadn't gone directly to Uran because she'd "encouraged him not to step outside of the chain of command."

Uran offered Dick Sauerman assurance the problem will be handled.

"You're asking for assurance; I'm giving it to you," Uran said. "Let's get it done."

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