Wet basements and soggy backyards are a fact of life for many in Southborough, but for one Marlboro Road resident, the solution to his water problem has become a public safety problem.
In a public hearing on Tuesday night that lasted more than an hour, Southborough safety officials told the Board of Selectmen that water pumped from StephenStanechewski’s Marlboro Road home runs onto the street and then freezes when temperatures drop.
“It gets out on the roadway and causes icing,” Department of Public Works Director Karen Galligan said. “We really need this to stop so it doesn’t cost the town more money to keep this road safe.”
A resident at the property since 1983, Stanechewski claims his water problems began in the last decade when neighbors on both sides installed new septic systems and one built a garage. He believes the changes now cause water to funnel into his yard. “I’m in a valley,” he said. “I have standing water in my yard all year long. It’s horrible I have to live under these conditions.”
Stanechewski tried to address the issue with the town several times over the years, but no resolution was reached. “Since 1998, I’ve been trying to talk to people to get this resolved,” he said. “I don’t want standing water in my yard all year long. I agree that we have a problem and I’d love it to be resolved.”
Both Stanechewski and Galligan agree a good solution would be to funnel the water from the property directly into the town drainage system, but at an estimated cost of several thousand dollars, the issue is who would pay for the work.
Since the town approved the work in his neighbors’ yards, Stanechewski argued the town has a financial responsibility to help resolve the problem.
But Selectman Sal Giorlandino called it “a private issue” between Stanechewski and his neighbors. He said Stanechewski could have pursued the issue in civil court, but he didn’t. “Now you turn around and blame it on the town. I don’t buy it.”
“All that happened is unfortunate, but we can’t do anything about it now. All we can do now is address the public safety issue,” said Chairman Bill Bolland.
The board urged Stanechewski to work with his neighbors to resolve the issue. They continued the public hearing to January 16 to give the neighbors time to work with the DPW on a solution.