WILLIAMSON – During the public comments portion of Thursday’s Williamson City Council meeting, Charlene Tincher, a resident of Goodman Ave., approached the council requesting an update concerning a landslide that occurred at her residence.
The landslide has been an ongoing problem for Williamson’s council. Tincher has attended council meetings in late February and March seeking a solution for the landslide on her property. According to Tincher, the landslide occurred on Feb. 22.
Tincher approached the council stating, “I was wondering when Williamson was going to move their street off my house.”
Action to remove the slide has not been taken by council due to insurance purposes. “They said they couldn’t do anything with the dirt or anything because it would mitigate the claim. The insurance told me that was not true. We haven’t touched anything back there other than moving stuff so it won’t run into the house. It is destroying my house.”
Councilman York Smith agreed with Tincher stating, “I wanted it removed a long time ago. I came up to see you and why Veolia has not moved it, I don’t know.”
The discussion continued with Tincher explaining that if the city had been more diligent on drain maintenance, the problem would not have occurred. “If Williamson had better maintained the drain, it wouldn’t have happened,” Tincher stated. “I think it is Williamson’s responsibility to remove the dirt.”
Smith responded stating, “I have asked them at these meetings to move that dirt and open the drain up and it never has been done. It should have been moved and opened up right after it happened but Veolia said no. I have brought it up several times to remove the dirt away from your house.”
The discussion continued concerning the removal of the landslide. Tincher stated, “If it is not stopped, it is going to destroy my house and I will not have a place to live.”
Smith then made a motion to remove the dirt from the home. Hairston-Brown seconded the motion. Councilman Matthew Newsome raised the question of the need for signed waivers and the motion was not approved.
The discussion continued. Smith stated, “It isn’t going to get done unless we send someone to do it. I am like this lady here, it needs to be done.”
Newsome then asked Jason Allen, Project Manager at Veolia Water if Veolia had the equipment needed to remove the dirt from the landslide.
Allen responded, “No, I do not. I can tell you from the language that is written in the contract with the city that it is above what the contract says. You are looking at a lot of things outside the scope of work that we do. I was under the impression that the city engineers would review that. That is the reason nothing has been done as far as we (Veolia) goes.”
Tincher reported that she is a widow living on a fixed income of $735 a month. Tincher stated that she has already spent $1,000 removing trees that were threatening to fall on her home as a result of the slide.
One issue the council faces is a lack of communication from the insurance company involved with the landslide claim. At this point, Tincher is the only involved party that has received correspondence from the insurance agency. The city insurance agent and the city clerk have not received correspondence.
The discussion continued between council and TIncher. Williamson Mayor Robert Carlton concluded the discussion stating, “Mrs. Tincher, what we are going to do at this point is I am going to ask the council to wait until we receive a letter from the insurance company. We are going to ask the city attorney that we insist that they give us an update.
Williamson City Council meetings are held on the second and fourth Tuesday every month.
(Courtney Pigman is a news reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242 ext. 2279.)