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Council to Residents: Clean Your Own Ditch

Ridgewood officials were wary of setting a precedent by clearing a privately-owned ditch known to worsen flooding around Marshall St. and Warren Pl.

The Ridgewood Village Council has politely declined a request from a group of homeowners asking for help in clearing ditch believed to exacerbate flooding near the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook.

With limited cash on hand and a bevy of projects needing attention, the village will be telling neighbors on Marshall St. and Warren Place that the ditch is going to be their problem going forward.

Beyond the practical implications of manpower, the council was wary of creating a precedent by clearing out private property although they've cleared it before.

Back after Hurricane Floyd in 1999 there was state funding available to clean the ditch, Village Manager Ken Gabbert explained to the council. The village followed suit and cleared the watery ditch of some debris. Since then, however, there's been essentially no maintenance done on the tract near the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook.

"Residents have come back before you over the years several times saying come on back again and we've always been reluctant because it is private property," Gabbert said.

"This is a slippery slope where we're starting to maintain private property," Councilwoman Bernadette Walsh said.

Village Engineer Chris Rutishauser reported that clearing of the property will have no tangible effect on the village's own property, but it will have a detrimental effect on homeowners.

Have a question or news tip? Contact editor James Kleimann at James.Kleimann@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Paul July 14, 2012 at 04:33 PM
WOW!! I want my taxpayers money back for the brand new towncouncil building made of tile and marble. Real Funny, how when they got what they wanted then they forgot about us!! Do's anyone else in this town agree with me? WOW!!
jp1 July 14, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Private property is just that, why not just get together with all concerned and clean it up.
VKC July 15, 2012 at 05:08 AM
I was going to ask the same thing. Charge and/or fine the property owner if they refuse to clean and maintain the ditch.
Ally Shuster Shea July 17, 2012 at 12:20 AM
So, councilwoman Walsh agrees with her double dipper Bergen Republicans friends by wasting $3Million dollars to move a dog-run at the R'wood Duck pond but wont spend $40,000 on desnagging a river to stop flooding,,,, and where Republican State Senator O'Toole who said he was going to fix it?

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