SOUTH BEND – About a dozen homeowners who have been experiencing water problems and flooding issues since the New Energy plant shut down operations at the end of November say they've had enough.
Enough of meetings.
They want a solution to a problem they say they did nothing to cause.
Monday afternoon, Charlette James, who lives on Prospect Street, phoned a Notre Dame Legal Aid Clinic attorney who has agreed to take a look at the issue for free.
"I want to know what exactly do I need to be doing to keep the water from backing up. Who do we need to be contacting? Is there a way for compensation?" James wonders.
Just last week, James' basement flooded, forcing her to throw out all the carpeting.
"Soon as we got downstairs, we could see water," James shook her head. "At least a foot-and-a-half of water all through the basement."
Toys, boxes full of old pictures and a mattress were also ruined.
More than a dozen homeowners have been complaining of flooding, cracked basement floors, and moldy walls ever since the ethanol plant closed in November.
Over the weekend, a flyer circulated around the neighborhood encouraging residents to attend Monday night's South Bend City Council meeting.
The goal – to get Mayor Pete Buttigieg to use TIF (Tax Increment Financing) funds for a solution to the water issues.
"We'd like the city to install a well station in the area," says Chris Tomkiewicz, who owns a home on Calvert Street.
The underground water levels around the plant have risen dramatically since the plant's shutdown.
Last year, New Energy operated 6 pumps, using more than 2 million gallons of water a day for production of ethanol.
"You would think the city would know whether or not this was a flood zone when we moved over here," James stresses. "If it was okay to build over here or not."
James and other concerned residents have contacted attorney Judith Fox, who works at Notre Dame.
Fox's office says she plans on holding a meeting sometime next week with all the homeowners who reach out to her.