Burbank Residents Being Displaced by Reservoir Expansion | NBC Chicago
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Burbank Residents Being Displaced by Reservoir Expansion

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Homeowners in Burbank are having a bittersweet Christmas, having been notified that this holiday season will be the last they will enjoy in their houses. NBC 5's Katie Kim reports. (Published Friday, Dec. 25, 2015)

    Homeowners in Burbank are having a bittersweet Christmas, having been notified that this holiday season will be the last they will enjoy in their houses.

    They say they were warned they would need to move out but had not been given a timeline, nor updates until earlier this month, just in time for the holidays.

    "How are you going to replace the memories?" Bonnie Gall said. "And all the family history that's here? There's no price for that."

    Metropolitan Water Reclamation District wants to expand the Melvina Ditch Reservoir to help reduce flooding, and 15 homes that sit adjacent have to go. That includes Chrstine Kent’s home for 21 years.

    Her home is one of 15 in burbank that will likely be bulldozed with the expansion of the Melvina Ditch Reservoir being built to reduce flooding in the area caused by rainfall.

    Gall was hoping for an alternative and says she's been living in limbo for months. However, the district sent her a letter saying it was moving forward and needed to send out an appraiser.

    "That letter didn't have to come at Christmas time," Gall said. "I really cant understand how someone could do that."

    The district says the expansion will protect over 500 properties from reservoir overtopping.

    Burbank homeowner Charles Geinosky agrees the timing of the letter wasn't ideal, but after decades of fixing water damage he's had enough.

    "Something has to be done. I think it's better for the community. I really believe that," Geinosky said.

    But Gall argues officials aren't dealing with just buildings; they are dealing with families.

    "There's a way to do things. You don't have to treat people like this," Gall said.

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