WOODLAND PARK, Colo - Dale Carley is the very unhappy owner of an apartment complex that has more than fifty thousand dollars of damage to it. The day after Veterans Day in the early morning hours, five to six inches of water from an underground city water main flooded his property. He tells me it was a wall of water that was rushing through the bottom floors, "There was no way I could stop it because it was a city water main. It was a six inch wide main that cracked and it could have been cracked for years." Dale tells me that the pipe that burst doesn't even directly provide water to his property.
He says he called his insurance company, "My insurance told me to go fly a kite." Dale then talked with the Water District. A representative of their insurance company told him and his wife that the city is offering five thousand dollars to help compensate him for the damages and claiming governmental immunity. Essentially it means that the city or its employees may not be able to be held liable for the damage. There is more than 50 thousand dollars worth of damage that has been done to Dale's property by an underground city pipe that he never knew existed under his property.
David Buttery is the City Manager of Woodland Park. He called me to talk about the situation with Dale Carley. Here is his official response, "When we found out about the issue we responded quickly and fixed it and stayed to help clean the property. Although governmental immunity applies, as a compassionate city government we wanted to help the Carleys recover and we wanted to provide them with five thousand and five thousand for each of the two residents who were there just because we are a compassionate city government. The amount was suggested prior to us knowing the full amount of damages. We will continue to have discussions with our insurance carrier and if we can we will have discussions with the Carley's insurance carrier. "
Dale Carley also told me the city gave him more than nine hundred dollars to help reimburse him for the cost of the renters having to stay at a nearby hotel. That hotel bill is more than a couple of thousand dollars and growing.