Homeowners reach settlement over continual flooding

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May 21, 2010 12:25:35 PM PDT
Two homeowners plagued by continual flooding in their West Contra Costa neighborhood have reached a tentative settlement with the county. The problem stems from a clogged drainage culvert that leads into the Montalvin Manor neighborhood at Lettia Road, an unincorporated area near San Pablo.

Under a tentative agreement reached this week, each homeowner would receive $45,000 for damages to their property over the past several rainy seasons. The county and a private property owner to the east, Pinole Point Properties, have agreed to each pay half, with the issue of responsibility for fixing the problem subject to further litigation.

"The court will ultimately decide who is responsible for the fix," said Mister Phillips, the attorney for the homeowners.

"It's not a settlement of the long-term problem," Supervisor John Gioia told ABC7. "It's a settlement of the damages from the flooding."

In heavy rains, the culvert backs up and sends water and debris into at least two homes. The pipe runs underneath railroad tracks owned by Union Pacific, which has also been brought into the lawsuit by Contra Costa County. A trial date is expected sometime this year.

In the meantime, the county will continue to pump out the water as needed. Gioia says a fix has been identified, but it will be up to the court to decide which entity pays for it and how much.