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Hidalgo County drainage district responds to Donna resident's concerns about upkeep of ditch

2 months 2 weeks 5 days ago Monday, July 05 2021 Jul 5, 2021 July 05, 2021 6:30 PM July 05, 2021 in News - Local

Weeks after Channel 5 News spoke to a resident about the upkeep of a drainage ditch in Donna, the county is saying the process to clean it hasn’t been easy because of a problem residents themselves are causing.

Hidalgo County Drainage District 1 General Manager Raul Sesin says Donna residents on Lissner Avenue are causing physical roadblocks to the cleaning process.

RELATED: Donna resident expresses concern over unkept drainage ditch  

“The residents play a very important part in making sure that their fencing and everything, structures, are not over their property line," Sesin said.

A map flags three properties bordering the south Donna drain extension behind Lissner Avenue. The encroachment by these properties doesn't allow enough space for shredding equipment to get through.

"In order to maintain it, we have to have those fences moved off the right of way, on to the property line," Sesin said.

Sesin wants the community to understand the challenges they create for the drainage district by impeding their equipment from getting by.

"We can't get in there and maintain,” Sesin said. “Traditional shredding takes six months with traditional equipment. When you have to use heavy equipment to clean ditches and shred them, it could be up to 18 months because of the 600 plus miles we maintain districtwide."

Sesin says notices were sent to a handful of neighbors about a year ago, asking them to move back their fencing or structures. Some did comply, but three others still haven't.

Channel 5 News spoke to the owner of a home, who said he plans to move his fence back to his property line soon. The other property owners couldn’t be reached for comment.

Sesin's crew has started the cleaning process, but again, they're asking residents to do their part - so they can do theirs.

"What we want to do is have our right of way clean of any encroachment so we can get in there with our traditional shredding operations," Sesin said.

Sesin says shredding operations are happening on a daily basis. The drainage district does keep a schedule with a cycle of cleaning operations, but again they have over 600 miles of ditches to maintain. They ask residents to please make sure any fencing you have is inside your property line and not encroaching onto drainage ditch easements.

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