CHICAGO (CBS) – Hoping we’re finally moving from winter to Chicago, but that just means moving to another season: construction.
Summer is always busy with projects, and this is the next story about a story that took place in Bridgeport last year.
Homeowner Steve Balser told CBS 2 that the work of city crews flooded his basement and cost him thousands.
The Chicago Department of Law denies it, but almost a year later Balzer did not fight.
On a sunny May day last year, Chicago Water Department crews began excavating a street near Balzer’s home in Bridgeport.
“It was an improvement in the infrastructure of the neighborhood, so we advocated it,” he said.
If he knew then what he knows now.
He estimated that as a result of the flood he paid $ 41,000 out of his own pocket for repairs.
Balzer said the problem began Friday night, during a hike to the basement.
“I went all the way down and realized that the house is actively receiving water,” he said.
What began as a trickle turned into a few inches of water; forming a glaze over each tile, plinth and corner of this space. Balzer said they tried to find the source but failed.
“We realized it was water, because there was no more water,” he said.
The next 24 hours were a flurry of phone calls as the flood continued. It was Sunday before the city crews returned, and as seen in a video taken by Balzer, the crews used an excavator to purify water from the same area where they worked.
“They turned it off, went home, and everything was fine. And at that moment the actual flood inside the house stopped,” he said.
Time is hard to ignore, and Balzer said his homeowner’s insurance agreed. He said they did not find the source of the flood they were covering and told him to look into the city.
Even his repair contractor wrote in a quote: “The basement was flooded with Cat 2 water from a Chicago water supply break.”
He laid it all out in the form of a lawsuit to damage the property of the city of Chicago.
Balzer said the floods occurred from May 14 to 16, 2021. On September 20, he filed a lawsuit in the city for damages. He said the city returned to him only on February 23, 2022; asks for his videos, photos and receipts. On April 26, the city sent him a letter of refusal stating that after the investigation, the legal department “rejected the lawsuit.”
“The frustration of having something in the city of Chicago, the obvious improvement they made, was a mistake they made and they refused to admit it, and now we keep the bag for $ 40,000,” Balzer said.
This letter does not state the reason why the lawsuit was dismissed, and Balzer is now seeking legal assistance to combat it. He said he used to love living on his corner in Bridgeport, but he is accused of the damage he did not do and cost him thousands, enough to make him want to move.
“The city of Chicago has given me my answer that they don’t want our business here,” he said.
As part of our report, we directly asked the city why they deny Balzer’s claims; what reasoning.
They only told us in a statement that they determined that the flooding was not the result of work done by the Department of Water Management.