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Private property means no help for homeowner whose yard is eroding away

By Gary Libreatore

(WKTV) - Ron Grosse has lived in his McGowan Road home in the Town of Frankfort for 10 years, and ever since the June 2013 floods, he says the back portion of his backyard has been eroding away.

Grosse says he remembers the night of last June 27 like it was yesterday, "It was like a raging river, it was just taking chunks of the land away."

He says just over a month ago, during heavy rains on May 16, more land eroded away, "We were watching chunks of clay 10-feet long, 3-, 4-feet-high just falling in."

Grosse says he's contacted everyone he could at all levels of government, but no one has helped.

Frankfort Town Supervisor Joseph Kinney tells News Channel 2, "There is nothing the town, the county or the state can do, because the creek is on private property and the erosion here is not affecting public land."

Local attorney Mark Wolber says this is a buyer-beware type of case.  He says if you buy a piece of property with any type of tributary on it, whether it be a stream or a creek, you are responsible for what ever happens on your property because of it.

"If you have water on your land and the water is in its natural state, and the water may flood or erode of natural causes, the municipality would not be responsible."

Grosse says he is still going to continue knocking on doors at all levels of government and hopes once people actually see what's going on first-hand, he can get help from somewhere.

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