Civil War-era home sinking, should the town help fix the problem?

Posted at: 08/26/2013 5:00 PM
Updated at: 08/26/2013 7:16 PM
By: Berkeley Brean

A home built for a Civil War veteran is at the center of an argument between its owner and the Town of Henrietta.

The owner says the house is literally falling apart and sinking because her property is flooded with water. She says the problems started only after an apartment complex was built next door with town approval.

She says the town ought to help her keep the historic home standing. But the town says they can't legally use taxpayer money to help a private homeowner deal with water issues.

The home was built a year after the Civil War ended. Today it’s Bonnie Kase’s home and she says it’s falling apart. She took News10NBC through the home to show us the damage. She says the problems in her home didn’t start until a new housing unit was built.

That development was built around 2009. Kase’s house is separated from the complex by some woods and there is a retention pond in the back end. But Kase says the water just runs around the berms built by her home and floods her property.

In a letter forwarded to News 10NBC, the town's attorney says the state constitution prohibits the town from helping a "private entity." The letter says the town was investigating how to improve drainage around the house but then Bonnie Kase filed a claim against the town. The letter says that stopped the work. Kase says it's in the town's interest to help her. “I think that if the people of Henrietta want to keep a historical landmark standing and not crumbling to the ground, I don't think the people would mind knowing that they have a piece of history still here.”

The town says Bonnie Kase has never showed them official engineering reports that prove the damage to her home is caused by excess water from the new apartment complex.

The complex is owed by Mark IV. We put in a call to them today but have not yet heard back.