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More Detail On Willowbend Water Damage:
City Protected Developer After Poor Pond Construction

January 14, 2002

The following letter is from Jackie, a resident of Willowbend, which is a neighborhood in Overland Park downstream from the Wal-Mart Supercenter site proposed for 159th and Metcalf. She wrote this letter to the Corp of Engineers about the possible effect building a Wal-Mart would have on Willowbend.

She also mentions the price Willowbend had to pay for silting problems exacerbated by a developer's mistake in building Willowbend's ponds. The City released the developer from responsibility. An earlier letter from another Willowbend resident points out the source of the silt that cost Willowbend so much was Overland Park's own widening of Metcalf. Apparently, after the developer, then the City, walked away from the problems, Willowbend was left with the bill.

If you have concerns or addiitional information about any aspect of water quality, wild life, flooding, silting, pollution, preservation of streams and wetlands, etc. downstream of the proposed Wal-Mart site, please send an email to Douglas Berka, Army Corps of Engineers at Or send an email to

The second email will be directed to Mr. Berka, the EPA, Rep. Ray Merrick, the Cities of Overland Park and Leawood, and other government agencies who can provide input to the decision about this property. Besides going to the responsible government agencies, a copy will go to NeighborhoodNet [I do not publish or otherwise distribute such email without the express permission of the writer.]

"[Full Name/Address,
Withheld at request of author]
Overland Park, KS 66223

Mr. Douglas Berka
Corps of Engineers

  This letter is to share my concerns with the proposed WalMart Supercenter at the northwest corner of 159th and Metcalf.  In particular, my issues are concerning the lack of a water study.

  Since 1991, my family has resided in the Willow Bend community, located just east of this intersection.  As you may already know, there are three small ponds in this community that have experienced several problems over recent years.  Large amounts of silt have settled into these ponds, causing the water level to rise.  I have been told the builder of the community did not properly build these ponds and had received a waiver from the City of Overland Park, releasing them of responsibilities with these problems.  Because of this, homeowners have been left with the burden of cleaning out the dirt in the ponds.  This has cost homeowners over $90,000.  The job is not complete for much of the pond still contains dirt.  In addition, due to the initial construction of the pond, the problems will continue.  I believe the WalMart Supercenter will devastate these ponds and contribute to potential flooding damage to the homes in the immediate area of the pond.  This will obviously cause immense problems for a community already burdened by water problems in the ponds.

  It would be negligent of the City and the Corp of Engineers to not perform all appropriate studies.  I would not be surprised if results would show significant risk to surrounding properties in addition to the Willow Bend pond areas.  Before any permits are issued, a complete analysis of this issue needs to be addressed.

  Thank you for your attention to this matter.


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