Neighborhood plans to repair dam

Published 10:12 am Thursday, November 3, 2016


The Creekwood subdivision on Wilson Road has plans to repair a broken dam that could allow flooding in its pond and is pushing down property values.

Jeff Henley, a resident of the subdivision, appeared before the Clanton City Council on multiple occasions to speak on behalf of the neighborhood’s residents. On Sept. 26, he discussed the issue with Mayor Billy Joe Driver and the City Council:

“I know a couple people in the neighborhood that’s trying to sell their house; it’s kept them from selling their house,” said Henley.

Henley said many people with lots by the pond bought their homes thinking they were fine, but did not realize when they were buying the lots that they were in a flood zone.

“I’m just trying to do this to help them,” said Henley. “If my house were for sale, I’d be pushing for something to be done.”

Henley said his own home barely clears the flood line. He would like to get to work on the dam before any big rains come and prevent work being done.

He said some residents who were sold property across the road in the neighborhood were also under the false assumption that they owned part of the pond and would have access.

“They said they were told [they] own 1/18 of the pond, and I said ‘No, you don’t. Whoever told you that lied,’” said Henley. “They told people all kind of stuff selling property, and that may have been a good intention that [the seller] had, but that wasn’t what he legally did.”

Mayor Driver proposed giving the neighborhood something in writing that grants access across the city’s lots to the pond.

“The only drawback to that is if we spend $50,000 on [repairing the dam] … if y’all turn around and sell the lots a year from now, that was their access to get to the pond other than crossing peoples’ back yards,” said Henley.

Henley said he did not mind if the city put a stipulation on the lots stating that they could not be resold for profit. He and another resident from the neighborhood would both have their names on the deed to avoid any one person having control of the lots.

Henley said he wanted the lots to be for the neighborhood to use communally. He plans to form an association among residents and raise funds to repair the dam, which he hopes would raise home values and provide a pond for the neighborhood to enjoy.

Driver and the council do not want to get the city involved with repairs on the dam, and part of the dam comes onto the city’s lot.

Driver said on Nov. 2 that the City Council had agreed to sell the lots and was in negotiation with Henley over the price. The price tag of $5,000 for both lots has been thrown around a few times, but the final result has yet to be determined.