Sewage problems continue

Published 12:00 am Thursday, September 18, 2003

Betty and George Simpson are back at home with their sewage problem, or as Betty puts it, &uot;We’re back at the dump.&uot;

Betty, her husband Gregory and their two teenage children have had problems with raw sewage churning up their toilet, sink and bathtub drains. The problem, they say, has made their lives a living nightmare.

So far, the only way they’ve found to prevent it from happening is to uncap the sewage lines in their front yard and let it coat the lawn.

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They’ve appealed to the Dallas County Water Board, where they have a letter entered into the official record, according to Joe Thomas, chairman of the board.

Thomas said he first learned of the Simpsons’ plight in June, but they claim they’ve been lodging complaints with the board for a year and a half.

Thomas and the board have footed the bill for the Simpsons to live in a hotel for over a week while they looked for a new place to live. Originally they were housed at the Residence Inn and later the Comfort Inn. Yesterday was the last day the board picked up the tab.

Now the Simpsons have returned home.

Thomas even purchased the family $215 in gift certificates to the nearby Shoney’s, where they ate while they were at the Residence Inn.

Gregory said they had problems with that arrangement. &uot;My wife is on a low-sodium, low-cholesterol diet, she can’t be eating the salad bar every night,&uot; he said.

At the Comfort Inn, Gregory said it wasn’t his wife’s diet that was the problem. &uot;We didn’t get no food allowance,&uot; he said.

Also, the Simpsons say their children couldn’t get to school because they both attended in a different district and buses would not pick them up.

So far the Simpsons say their children have missed eight days of school.

The Simpsons are currently without transportation, as their car isn’t running.

Thomas said he has been looking for a home for the Simpsons because no one is quite sure when their sewage problem will be fixed.

Yesterday, Thomas was convinced he’d found a solution.

Thomas said he gave the Simpsons the telephone number of the apartment manager there, but they hadn’t called as of yesterday.

Thomas also sent Yusuf Salaam, the Dallas County Water Authority’s lawyer, to discuss their sewage problem and to remind them about the apartments.

The Simpsons insist they were unaware of any of this. Thomas said he hadn’t brought the issue to the board, and the deposit, rent and hook-up costs have to be agreed on by the entire board.

Thomas said Salaam didn’t tell them about it because the idea arose from a conversation between him and co-chairman James Hale. He added that no official action on absorbing the costs of moving for the Simpsons has been agreed on by the Water Board.

The Simpsons said Salaam did come out and talk to them about the issue, but only briefly mentioned the apartments.

They told him they wouldn’t speak to him without their attorney, William Faile, being present.

The Simpsons said they do remember talking to Thomas about Craig Field Apartments, but said they couldn’t move into Craig because of the crime rate and apartment availability. Gregory said, &uot;We’d have to move all our stuff to Craig Field knowing we wouldn’t be satisfied and have to move again. I know that’s not a neighborhood I’d want my child to grow up in.&uot;

Added Betty, &uot;The way everything smells it wouldn’t be a reason to move it anyway. What, a new house and stanky stuff?&uot;

The Simpsons said that the only apartments available at Craig were two bedroom apartments, and that they needed three, as they had a 16-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter.

Annie Coleman, the apartment manager at Craig, was not at work and couldn’t confirm the availability of apartments there.

Faile, the Simpsons’ attorney, said he and Salaam haven’t been able to contact one another concerning any sort of settlement on the case. &uot;I hope we can get it resolved, but if we can’t we’re going to have to do whatever we can.&uot;