Company says dispute between 2 cities is why flooding continues at businesses near Cleveland/Garfield Heights border

Company says dispute between 2 cities reason flooding continues at businesses near Cleveland/Garfiel

CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - A company said a dispute between two cities is what’s allowing flood damage to continue at several businesses.

Since the business straddles a city line off Broadway Avenue, it’s having trouble getting one of the entities to take responsibility for clogged storm drains.

Historic rainfall earlier this week left a mess on the Midwest Equipment Co.’s property at 9800 Broadway Ave.

“The cleanup alone is frustrating,” Operations Manager Brandy Hollis said. “Its just getting worse every year. Broadway has always flooded, but coming up into our property, it has gotten worse since 2017."

The crane rental company workers said they’ve noticed lately, when it rains, the water begins to gather near a storm drain in front of the business.

“Nothing is going down that drain,” Hollis said.

However, she said she’s gone back and forth trying to figure out whose job it is to fix the problem.

“They’re saying it’s not their problem, but it’s not our problem. It’s not our catch basin,” she said.

She first went to Garfield Heights.

“They say that is the city of Cleveland’s responsibility,” she said. “I contacted the city of Cleveland, they’re throwing it back and saying it’s Garfield Heights.”

You can see on Cuyahoga County’s aerial map, the Cleveland/Garfield Heights city line runs diagonally right through the business’s property.

Hollis said her company pays taxes to both cities--one bill for the land their offices sit on in Garfield Heights and another for their equipment lot here in Cleveland.

“We pay a portion to each city, so we would assume that someone would pick this up and fix this,” she said.

After making calls to both cities, 19 investigates discovered Garfield Heights is taking steps to relieve some of the flooding issues here.

Mark Sikon, foreman of the Garfield Heights Service Department, said during a heavy rain, it’s actually four different catch basins along Broadway Avenue that have trouble draining.

After reaching out to the city of Cleveland at least four times since March, and receiving no reply, Sikon said Garfield Heights crews took the initiative to clear what they could this week, even though a few of the basins were not on their side.

“This is compromising our business and we just want it repaired,” Hollis said.

It’s unclear whether this week’s work will make a big difference in the amount of water that pools here, or if there is a larger issue in the Cleveland’s line this road feeds to.

It’s something that makes Hollis nervous to think about, knowing we could find that out this weekend, as more rain rolls in.

An inspector from the Cleveland Water Department is going to investigate “in a moment,” a spokesperson said, adding if it is located in Cleveland, the catch basin will be cleaned.

The city promised to provide an update once it has more information.

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