Dispute over man-made pond divides neighbors in Franklin

FRANKLIN (WITI) -- Their backyards are under water. Now, they want the City of Franklin to solve the problem. Homeowners say there's a simple solution. But their Mayor says things are more complicated than they seem.

Robert Montgomery says flooding has overtaken two yards on S. 116th St. in Franklin but that recent rain does not deserve all the blame. He says he's been trying to get city officials to alleviate flooding in the neighborhood for years.

Montgomery says the problem started 17 years ago when a neighbor built a one-acre wildlife pond in his backyard. He says within a year, the pond overflowed its banks and now it's larger than ever. Montgomery has collected years of records and believes the problem is crushed drain tile beneath the pond that's blocking water from draining properly.

Franklin's mayor says larger forces may be to blame.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to see that the land is full of wetland," said Mayor Tom Taylor.

The mayor says there's been no reports of illnesses from contaminated wells or failing septic systems. He says this is a private property matter.

"Me trying to assist involves taxpayers money so we'd be using taxpayers money to solve problems that are on private property," said Taylor.

Jackie Glowinska says she and her husband built the pond in question to lessen already existing flooding concerns. She denies crushed tile is to blame and says they've installed a valve in the pond to drain the water.

"We went to the core of engineers we went to the DNR and we got their blessings for everything," said Glowinska.

Montgomery is angry his neighbor and the city are not actively trying to solve the problem.

"I hope they come up and say, we need to take this seriously," said Montgomery.

There is another solution for these families -- and that's getting a permit to build mounds on their property lines using fill dirt. Those mounds would direct the water away from their homes.

The mayor says however, that could create flooding problems for more families downstream.