Areas in the Mahoning Valley are still dealing with flooding issues after the heavy rain from two weeks ago.
Tuesday evening at a Poland Village Council meeting, residents filled the hall asking what can be done about the flooding.
Residents like Jerry Stare, who lives on Water Street in the village.
His house, and many of his neighbors’ houses, had raw sewage in their basements.
“The water was up to that bottom step,” he said.
For Jerry and Karen Stare, his wife, this is the third time their home has flooded in seven years. But this was the worst.
“I left for work at 6:30 a.m. and I was sick to my stomach all day knowing we had those heavy rains and what this place was going to look like when I got home,” Jerry said.
The couple was looking for answers at tonight’s council meeting, but no one from the Mahoning County Sanitary Department showed up.
“We have heard over and over and over again that they’re working on it. But I do believe that in over seven and a half years it should have been completed by now,” Karen said.
Karen and Jerry both told council they are fed up with the excuses from the sanitary department — a sentiment held by other neighbors on Water Street as well.
“Something is not working and I’d like it to work,” one person at the meeting said.
“We did not get reimbursed for the amount we put in, so we purchased a third shutoff valve,” another person said.
Shutoff valves were offered as one solution to neighbors’ problems, but many of them said they couldn’t afford the initial cost.
“So by putting that in, we’re getting something we don’t have and believe me, I’m not advocating for them. I’m just telling you what Joe DeSantis told me,” said Poland Village Mayor Tim Sicafuse.
DeSantis works with the sanitary department.
Sicafuse says he hears the neighbors’ concerns but says there isn’t much the village can do at this point except work with the sanitary department and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
There were several suggestions made at the meeting though, including a $1.7 million project to put a protective cover over the existing line, as well as installing a new manhole on Water Street.
But, nothing has been decided yet.
For the Stares, they say they don’t want any money, they just want the problem fixed faster than the 18 months many of the projects suggested would take.
As for the shutoff valve that was suggested, the cost is around $4,000.