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Taylor Mill family's collapsing backyard caused by overflowing creek

FEMA grant to save the property could cost him $30,000
Posted at 10:23 PM, Mar 05, 2020

TAYLOR MILL, Ky. — It's been over a year since WCPO first reported on 80-year-old Bill Hall, whose Taylor Mill dream home's backyard is being slowly swallowed by what was once a small 5-inch-deep neighborhood creek.

The city of Taylor Mill is working on a fix for the problem in the form of a government grant, but Hall says it may be too little, too late.

"It's frustrating. It is," Hall said. "Especially because it's been a year since this happened."

Hall put in $10,000 worth of railroad ties to shore up the land decades ago. Those lasted until March of last year, when they were swept away by rising creek waters.

“This just keeps on slipping down. It’s just a matter of time,” Hall said.

Twenty years ago, the city of Taylor Mill put in a bridge. That, paired with the removal of trees and vegetation upstream due to development, caused more water runoff.

"(It) created the funnel effect. Now when the water comes through there, it's like shooting a shotgun," Hall said.

Rock baskets were added to the banks of the creek to try and prevent more soil erosion, but they haven't had the desired effect.

"I know if they don't do something soon, these rock baskets are going to leave town," Hall said.

Taylor Mill officials are trying to help. Since last year, the city applied for a FEMA grant, an engineering study and a drainage study. The application was originally for $125,000, but Taylor Mill Administrator Brian Haney said the engineers believe it will cost more.

“Today is the first time I’ve heard $250,000 mentioned,” Hall said.

The FEMA grant comes with a 13% price tag for the landowner involved, which would require Hall to pay more than $32,000 for a problem he said he didn't create.

"It's their (Taylor Mill's) bridge. Their wall," Hall said. "They paid for it. Now, it's torn down. Why should I pay for it?"

Hall said he knows it's just a matter of time -- every day the creek inches closer to his home.

"Get somebody moving somewhere along the line. Get this problem fixed. Before one of my grandkids gets their neck broken," Hall said.

He said if he has to pay the more than $30,000 bill to fix the problem, he will.

The city of Taylor Mill should know if the FEMA grant has been accepted next week.