Families Threaten Lawsuit Over Arizona Fire Flood Ditch

May 3, 2011

An effort by Coconino County to prevent major flooding damage in the aftermath of a wildfire could land the county in court.

Four families say the county built a newly fenced, 40-foot wide flood control ditch across their land without paying compensation.

The families say the concrete-lined ditch took 1-1/2 acres of their property and they want $280,000 from the county. John Nesbit tells the Arizona Daily Sun that the county essentially hauled off his property in dump trucks.

The county says the homeowners are mistaken. Coconino County’s public works director Andy Bertelsen says the county has an easement and did not encroach on the homeowners’ property.

Officials are worried about major flooding because last year’s 15,000-acre Schultz fire denuded so much of the mountains north of Flagstaff.

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