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Storm Pipe Delaying Cameron Co. Man's Land Development Plan

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SAN BENITO – A San Benito man said a storm pipe on his property is causing delays in development plans he has for his neighborhood.

Mario Linan owns several business and rental properties in the Rio Grande Valley. He said he purchased three acres last year to develop the neighborhood he grew up in.

"I really am trying to develop. I am trying to build some duplexes here. I’m just having a little bit of issues with the city of San Benito," he said.

Linan said the major issue revolves around a storm pipe on his property. He told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the city requested an easement for the storm pipe before he could develop the land. He provided the easement to the city.

Later, the city sent him a letter denying the storm pipe belongs to them.

“Who owns that drainage system? I've gone to the city, I've gone to the water district, I even called the highway department. I have not got any answers," he said.

Linan explained he's afraid to develop the land without getting approval from whoever owns the storm pipe. He said the area has a history of flooding issues.

"My concern is that if we get a lot of rain, a hurricane, then my neighbors are going to be having issues. Then, mosquitoes will be coming through. Then, we are going to have a health issue in this area," he said.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS reached out to Cameron County Drainage District 3 General Manager Sonia Lambert. She explained her department only maintains drainage ditches within the outer boundaries of the city.

Lambert said it's the city's responsibility to drain and maintain storm sewers within the city limits.

We went looking for answers at San Benito city hall.  A San Benito public information officer sent the following statement, which reads in part:

"The city's planning department is keeping the city manager informed as to the status of Mr. Linan's concerns. We are searching 80 years of records, dating back to 1937, to determine ownership of the easement where the storm drainage is located."

Linan said he received a call from San Benito Mayor Benjamin Gomez after our visit to San Benito city hall.

Gomez explained he and the San Benito city manager want to meet with Linan early next week to discuss resolving the issue. 

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