18 People Take City of Warren To Court Over Old PipeElden Elseth and others associated with five other properties are taking the city of Warren to court. They say they were unfairly asked to sign a waiver to take responsibility for an asbestos-containing pipe on their property.
By: David Schwab, WDAZ
Work on Warren's flood project in 2004 required changes in the way rural residents got their water. At that time Warren offered to pay for new water hook-ups to 13 property owners just northeast of town at a cost of about $10,000 dollars each. But there was catch.
Adrian Wesolowski/Property Owner: "We would have to sign this agreement that we take responsibility for the asbestos pipe in our property. That is where the problem is."
That old asbestos-containing pipe is part of the old water system Warren installed in the 1950s. It carried well water 8 miles to the city. After the city switched water sources they wanted land owners to take responsibility for the pipe.
Elden Elseth/ Property Owner: "For the life of me I can not understand why reasonable people would require you to to that. "
And that is why Elden Elseth and others associated with five other properties are taking the city of Warren to court. They say they were unfairly asked to sign the waiver in order to have their water hooked up. Five property owns have refused to sign the waiver and paid for the water hookup themselves. Now they want their money back.
Elden Elseth/Property Owner: "This was people's water to there homes just cut off. Because they would not sign this agreement to assume a fair amount of liability for the asbestos pipe. City should take responsibility for it. "
Elseth says he was told by the DNR the water hook-ups were covered by flood funding. He and others believe the city acted unfairly to wash it's hands of disposal of the asbestos pipe.
Adrian Wesolowski/Property Owner: "There are other lines south of town that have to be replaced. For these other people and they didn't have to sign an agreement stand for this asbestos pipe on our property."
We asked the Warren city council president for comment. She would only say that "the courts will decide this case."