10-Year-Old to Carrollton City Council: Help Save My House

Residents on Barclay Drive fighting fighting massive erosion

View Comments (
)
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    10-year-old Nick Hamrla goes before the Carrollton City Council Tuesday night to plead with them to save his family's home in the 1300 block of Barclay Drive from caving in. (Published Tuesday, Jun 11, 2013)

    A 10-year-old is asking the Carrollton City Council to help save his home, where the backyard is eroding away with every rainfall.

    Dressed in his best shirt and tie, Nick Hamrla had a four-page speech he was excited to present to the council on Tuesday night.

    His family's home is in the 1300 block of Barclay Drive, a block that has become well-known in the past five years as residents fight to fix massive erosion in their backyards.

    The Hamrlas' back yard has almost completely eroded away up to their porch, which they fear will go soon if nothing is done.

    Their next-door neighbor, Dalia Chavariia, has also seen massive erosion in her backyard. The failure happened after she and her family had been in the house for a year.

    "I have two little girls, and I'm so scared every time it rains that my house is going to go into the creek or into the earth; I don't know," she said.

    So far, no one has had much luck on that front. Barclay residents have gone to the city many times, but say they have not found any help.

    But Nick decided to step up and try his hand at making a change.

    "He said one day, 'I've got something to say,'" said his mother, Petra.

    Residents say the city has been negligent in maintaining the drainage of Dudley Branch Creek, which boarders their properties. Residents also say a failed retaining wall in their backyards show that the city has attempted to fix issues in the past.

    But the city maintains that the issue is on private property, saying it is illegal under Texas law to spend municipal dollars on privately owned land.

    The property owners say something must be done. Waters from the creek flooded higher than ever in the most recent rainstorm, causing even more damage.

    "We discovered that the water's rushing through this creek so fast it can't get under the bridge at Rosemead," homeowner Michael Brewer said.

    He said he fears the waters will next cause homes to collapse back or even damage gas lines, leading to much bigger problems.

    Homeowners have filed a lawsuit against the city in federal court and have their first hearing on the matter at the end of the month.

    Residents in the neighborhood say they're not sure if Nick's plea to the City Council will help, but say he definitely has a lot of good points.

    "Nick's got a vested interest," Brewer said. "Without a backyard, Nick and his little sister, they can't even have a dog because there's no way to keep him in the yard."

    "He's a kid -- he has a lot of energy," Chavariia said. "He needs to play. He needs a place that is safe for him to play, and he doesn't have that."

    The city said it could not comment on the issue because of the pending litigation.