Water Stifles Art Studio
We are currently closed due to the water
situation that has worsened over the
past several months at our studio.
We are devoting a page on our site
specifically to sharing the
knowledge of this ongoing
Perhaps this knowledge
will save others from heartache in the future and encourage action rather than inaction.
Here you will find a timeline, documents including emails, reports, videos and eye witness accounts. This situation has almost ruined my business completely. Basically, surrounding building's water dumps in an alley way that has no outlet. The water is supposed to be rerouted to the city storm drain.....this does not happen.
Over 8000 square feet of water collects in this small alley way (private property, not mine) and it has eventually started to erode the South wall of my building. I legally cannot fix the drains/downspouts on the other buildings or concrete anything in the alley way as it is not my property. I, my building, is literally a sitting duck.
I began trying to resolve this issue over two years ago. It has worsened with each month as has my health. I have grinded my teeth so bad at night I chipped both my front teeth and worked a filling loose. I have a pinched nerve in my right neck/shoulder that has caused a great deal of pain and numbness in 2 fingers on my right hand for months. I have kepy a urinary tract infection and have battled insomnia for over a year. And most recently discovered the wall that has eroded so severely has black mold in the eroded areas. All this is due to others inability to fix and maintain their property and others inability to enforce codes. Something that could have cost everyone a small amount has now snowballed into a disaster.
I appreciate all the support I have had throughout this process especially from Mayor Jon Law and Alderman Violet Harry. Without them initiating it....a meeting nor an engineers report would have ever been ordred. They have gone above and beyond to help me but have met brickwalls within our own community and city infrastructure.
This whole situation is preverse and backwards. Something so simple and preventable has turned into an awful, awful situation that was TOTALLY avoidable. Mayor Law, Alderman Harry and Alderman Cowley are the only people from the city that have reached out to help, Alderman Whisenant's wife also assures me I have his support. I have heard from no other alderman. It perplexes me based on the reports below that Mayor Law is more concerned with preservation of the properties than most and he isn't even a native of LC. He has stood in the alley way in calf high water trying to help identify and rectify the problem even calling and asking property owners to fix their issues prior to large rains..............which they did not.
He doesn't know me but he values businesses and knows what they mean for our community.
I also appreciate the Bagley and Bagley owners for being willing to help correct issues with their property. They are the only businesses involved that have pledged to do so.
Currently, I am unable to operate out of my facility. This situation is a shame and a discrace. Only by the grace of God have I been able to not lose my business. It saddens me greatly that many others in the same situation would have lost their business and probably have to be foreclosed upon. I am so disgusted and saddened by these unlawful chaing of events that my goal is to legally force the parties causing the damage to fix their property and then rent and eventually sell the building. I no longer want to create there. It is now a daunting and dreadful space to me.
So now I wait. I wait for decisions from city insurance adjusters, multiple lawyers, etc. I wait.......money does often win out in cases like this. However, I refuse to go silently into that good night.............
I stand for not only myself but for every other "small" person with a dream and a hard work ethic. I have perseverence and strength provided by the Lord and I have an army of prayer warriors. I know my enemy is reading this.............I hope you have good reading comprehension and retention skills. I WILL NOT GO SILENTLY.......
I would like to thank all the businesses and local people that have helped me in any way big or "small":
Salon Bella Mia
Matilda Jane by local rep. Brittnay Gulley
Art by Chris
The Lodge at Gunter Hollow
Cannon Extreme Clean
Pickers on the Square Vendors
Logan Beth Campbell Designs
Merle Norman/Blush Boutique
Many many contributors with PRAYER and money donations
This report shows that I DO NOT own any of the alley way where all the water collects. It should be routed out to the street but it is not and the city pipe that used to reroute the water out is over 100 yeards old and defunct. The pipe is broken to pieces and instead of being fixed was concreted over yet part of it is still exposed, water collects in it and pushes back on and in my south wall due to erosion. The City, The Massey and Kidd property owners have not fixed their improper draingage system and have knowingly put water onto my property for years. Now I have substantial damage to my south wall due to erosion.
You Tube Video Links:
This link shows what all the gutters looked like before Cam (my husband) attached temporary tubing to reroute it all to the street. This helped TREMENDOUSLY. However, after we renovated the city installed a grate on top of a broken pipe they own on the sidewalk which rerouted all the water back on to my building again. I contacted them about my concerns but was told it was done for my own good.
Letters from Witnesses:
Insurance Denial Letter:
Several people ask why I don't turn this into my insurance. I have filed 2 claims, both have been denied because it is water related and it is from other people's negligence......not my building. I am scared to file anymore claims because I fear they will cancel me. I was told to contact the city and to sue.
Several codes and laws have been violated and broken in this sad, sad situation.
Here are just a few. 1. You cannot knowlingly put water on another person's property that is causing damage and harm. All parties including the city has been aware of this for two years. Their negligence has caused great harm and loss of income and quality of life. Also, the alley way in question contains several structural and fire hazards that have been long ignored even though have been repeatedly brought to the attention of multiple people in charge at the city. These are just a few of the codes I pulled off the state site. Shouldn't we all have to follow the same laws? Evidently several in Fayetteville are exempt. If the city won't even follow them they certainly shouldn't be able to fine anyone.
Who Owned 111 before me?
Well, SAAW (Southern Alliance for Animal Welfare) owned the building but rarely used it, really for storage and pickup only. Prior to that Hue Counts owned it and also used it for storage only. It did not have central heat/air and was just "old" no updates had been made to it in a long, long time. The structure was sound, just dated. Hue Counts donated it to SAAW. SAAW auctioned it for seed money to fund their new location for neutering in Park City.
Did they have water problems? SAAW says no, never. Hue says yes and the culprit was the alley way and the lack of water being routed to the story drain. He took several photos, documented it, hired a lawyer, one of the property owners involved! And sent a letter to all involved as well as the city. He was told by the city (then) that he couldn't even route the water to the street sidewalk even though legally they are responsible when it hits the sidewalk. Hue did route some of the water out and did what was necessary to perserve and protect his property.
Hue put a second layer of brick on the interior wall of his building and painted the outside wall with a sealant to protect it. However, since his building was not the problem and the property owners nor the city fixed their issues the water continued to collect and sit against the wall eventually causing eroision and all the water damage I have encountered. I, like Hue and SAWW, am a sitting duck. Legally I cannot fix what is not mine. I cannot fix other people's gutters and downspouts nor could the previous business owners. I cannot fix the cities broken pipe. They are all well aware of the problem and the solution.
No, none of this was disclosed at auction and we didn't find out that the building didn't have it's own waterline until we signed the following week. This information was also NOT DISCLOSED at auction.
Documentation from Mr. Counts:
Where are we now?
To date, 9/19/16 nothing has changed. Massey, Kidd nor the city have repaired any of their broken property. The Bagleys put some concrete behind their building to help offset the amount of water passing between my property and theirs (Thank You!). My father, Ernie Roles, added a new pipe to one of the downspouts off the Bagley property and made it bypass the exposed and broken city pipe. My father called and asked the city if they would allow him to tear the sidewalk up and remove and cap off the old/defunct pipe and they fix the sidewalk back. They told him no he could not. So, this is what sits outside of my business and has for weeks. They won't fix it, won't enforce codes and won't let me help myself. If anyone else was in my position they would have lost their business and their building long ago. The city motto is where "Tradition meets Tomorrow". Is it really though? I own two businesses and am fighting to keep them up due to negligence and unlawful, immoral authority. Their good ole boy tradition is what is killing us. I will no longer be silent on this issue. Inaction is action and I will fight to save others that come after me. Will you continue to watch this situation like a bad car accident or will you join me in saving our town from this preverse, backwards and disgusting behavior? Write letters to the editor, vote out the old and in the new. Again, Law, Harry and Cowley are the ONLY ONES in office that have tried to help me and this sitaution. Alderman Whisenant's wife contacted me a few week's ago in August offering to help clean water up and expressed her husband's concerns and willingness to help. The city lawyer has not returned my lawyer's phonecalls. What can one deduct from this? They want me to give up!
Please watch and compare the video on the left and right. The left video shows all the water from the pipes going back into the city’s broken pipe that drains nowhere as it was absent mindedly concreted over multiple times. The city said they were responsible for the rerouting the water when it hit the street.
REMEMBER, Cameron rerouted the water of all parties using black corrugated pipe prior to our cosmetic renovation. The wall still stayed damp and the solution was not a permanent one at all but it was keeping the water off us until the other business owners properly repaired their own downspouts and gutters.
The video on the left shows all the water POURING back into their broken pipe which then pushed water back onto my wall that eroded at a steady and fast pace this year, it obliterated the base of it. I called and reported this and spoke about it at one of the public works meetings (Law, Harry, Bryant, Small, Siefert were all in attendance so there should be some record of this but when my lawyer requested it there was none). The hole in the sidewalk and the broken pipe remained in this condition! It is still open and broken! I was even told I couldn't put water onto the city sidewalk to get it off my property. What sense does this make!?!!
The video on the right shows the water bypassing the hole, this was "rigged" up by my father. With this and the concrete that was installed in the alley way and the rerouting of the water off the other buildings behind my property, my wall has stayed DRY. SEE, it is fixable! IF only they would all fix their property!
Please check back often as I can only update in my spare time.