Who's Responsible for Broken Levees?

By Kyle Inskeep

Published 02/25 2014 06:05PM

Updated 02/25 2014 06:45PM

Tim Jeffers is now transporting his visitors by four-wheeler.

"Everyone has to park up here and then we'll travel in and out on the Honey Creek Levee," Jeffers said. 
That's because Kennett Drive in southern Vigo County, the road he calls home, is once again flooded out.

"The water is going across the road down here from where they haven't fixed the levees from last year," Jeffers said.
Last April heavy rain breached the Honey Creek Dike and Ditch levee.

"We have two breaks that were caused last spring by the water over-topping the levee," David Voges, President of the Honey Creek Dike and Ditch Levee Board said. 

Voges oversees the Honey Creek Dike and Ditch levee.

He thought the Army Corps of Engineers was going to step-in and help repair the breaks last fall.

But a change in the land's assessed value halted that plan.

"That threw a whole wrench in the works and now we're going to have to pay for it ourselves," Voges said.

The Honey Creek Dike and Ditch levee is a private levee. Meaning it was built by private citizens and not the government.

It's the responsibility of those individuals to handle the maintenance, upkeep, and ultimately foot the bill on all its major repairs.

"Nobody pays any taxes or maintenance costs whatsoever except the folks that have land in the bottoms," Voges said. 

And its those folks who will now come together and raise the money to repair the levee.

"It's what everybody's planning on doing. But we have to get this freeze out of the ground and get it dry enough to work and pack," Voges said.

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