Homeowner stuck with big bill after crews leave muddy mess

A Winnipeg homeowner says a mess created by crews working for the city has left him with a big bill and a big headache.

Logan Avenue resident frustrated with $10K damage to yard

Andrew Stewart said the city told him to clean up the mess after snow clearing crews hit a fire hydrant that flooded his yard, but he said he doesn't have the $10,000 to repair the damage up front. (Wendy Buelow/CBC)

A Winnipeg homeowner says a mess created by crews working for the city has left him with a big bill and a big headache.

Andrew Stewart said a street cleaning crew hired by the city knocked over a fire hydrant near his house on Logan Avenue in January.

It flooded his yard, bringing in mud and gravel from the road.

The frozen mass is now thawing out, turning into a muddy mess underneath 30 centimetres of dirt. 

He said the city has told him they are investigating his complaint.     

"What's there to investigate?" he said, pointing at the damage to his yard.

Stewart said the City of Winnipeg told him it wasn't a city snow plow that hit the fire hydrant, but a contractor's machine. 

He said city staff told him to clean up his yard and submit the bill, and they'll reimburse him for cleanup costs once their investigation is complete.

But Stewart said that's not fair, and both estimates he's received for cleanup and repairs come in at around $10,000 — money he said he doesn't have. 

"I don't have $10,000 or more sitting around to pay somebody to clean it," he said. "It's a lot of work. I mean my yard is sunk."

Stewart said not only is he expected to foot the cleanup bill up front, but the fiasco could also cost him in the future. He said city staff don't seem to understand. 

"I even asked the guy, 'Where do I start?'' he said. "He said, ' contact your home insurance.' Yeah, you do that and your rates are going to go up. Why should I pay for something I never did? If I hired a contractor to do work and he damaged your property, I'd have to pay."

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