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.
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