Davenport council discusses how to deal with sewage surcharge

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After facing lawsuits from several homeowners, the City of Davenport is trying to address a problem that caused sewage backups in a Davenport neighborhood.  It could mean an extra fee on everyone’s sewage bill.

At the city council meeting, people spoke for and against the charge. The council also voiced in, but decided the charges needed to be discussed at the next meeting.

"I was sick. I was literally sick,” said Davenport resident Annette Rickeberg.

With the water rushing in and her belongings taken out in plastic bags,

“We can’t fight a stream,” she said.

On Memorial Day, Rickeberg lost everything in her basement. She’s hoping the city council approves a sewer reimbursement program. It would add a $2 fee per quarter to every household’s sewage bill. The city council pushed a vote on that to the next meeting, but approved a resolution that would establish a reimbursement policy.

"The sewer system has been ignored and it is catching up too,” said Davenport Mayor Bill Gluba.

Not everyone agrees with the charge.

"I feel for the people who had sewer backups, but if my house burns down, no one’s going to reimburse me,” said a man at the meeting.

Those that qualify for the program could receive up to $7,500 to help with damage.

A controversial charge,

"Two dollars here, two dollars there,” added the man.

To help cover what Annette says could happen to anyone.

“Everything you had is ruined,” said Rickeberg.

So far seven families have sued the City of Davenport, Mayor Gluba and Michael Clarke, Public Works Director because of the sewage backups. The city has denied responsibility.