Our Story - Stop SD1

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December 2011
Sanitation District No. 1 of Ft. Wright, Ky., hired Brackney Inc., of Brookville, Ind., as a contractor for a Northern Kentucky sewer construction project (South Fork Gunpowder Interceptor and Rosetta Sewer Project).
A portion of the project, intended to replace an old sewer line, was located on adjoining land of three residential properties in Florence, Ky., on Belvedere Court.
During open trench excavation, the land was not properly shored, braced and backfilled. The contractor (Brackney) went against Thelen’s pre-engineering construction plan and completed an un-braced bench cut into the hillside.  The excavation triggered a landslide on the three residential properties, causing substantial property damage, decrease in value and diminished the families’ abilities to use their backyards.

Two of the families continue to live at their damaged residences, unable to enjoy their backyards. One family has relocated to Canada for work reasons and has been unable to sell its home because of the backyard damage. In 2014, a Sibcy Cline realtor told the family that moved to Canada that it should not even list the home until there was at least an agreement in place to fix the progressive landslide.

The families tried to negotiate with SD1. They first received an estimated cost of $249,647 in 2014 to fix the properties of all three homes. In 2016, they received estimates from Civil Solutions Associates of $218,401 and $269,351 for different kinds of repairs.
The families hired attorney Jason Conte from Ulmer & Berne, LLP, in summer 2016. In summer 2016, SD1 offered the three families a total of $50,000 to settle. The families rejected that offer, which was later withdrawn. The families countered by asking for $269,351. SD1 rejected that.
In November 2016, the families filed a lawsuit in Boone County Circuit Court, seeking damages because SD1 was not offering sufficient money to fix the landslide.
SD1 sent out appraisers who determined the diminution in value was $6,000, $6,000 and $5,000 in each of the three homes. In November 2017, SD1 offered three separate judgments totaling $17,000 for the three families without any admission of liability nor that the families had suffered any damages. The families rejected those offers.

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