LeCLAIRE — The LeClaire City Council voted Monday to boost the amount of money it’s spending on mudjacking in a neighborhood where subsurface voids have vexed some homeowners.
The vote to spend up to $120,000 more is just a temporary measure, city officials say. They say a study still must be done to determine the cause of the problem, then try to devise a long-term solution.
“You’re going to have to re-address it, the whole thing, come budget time,” LeClaire Mayor Bob Scannell told council members, who discussed the matter for about a half-hour at their council meeting. Budgets are typically drafted in the winter.
Homeowners in some parts of The Bluffs subdivision say they’ve had problems with sinkholes, as well as sidewalks that have sunk and hollow-sounding spots beneath driveways and walkways. Parts of 10-year-old streets in the subdivision are marked with roadblocks to keep school buses and garbage trucks from causing further damage. Perhaps a dozen homes are affected, Ed Choate, the city administrator, said.
The problem was the subject of a Quad-City Times report Sunday, in which some homeowners have pointed to a combination of land-clearing and failure to use a gravel subsurface in constructing roads for the difficulty.
Choate said Monday the cause hasn’t been determined yet.
The city has already authorized $240,000 in spending on mudjacking to try to solve some of the problems. The process uses water, sand, clay and cement and injects it underneath a concrete slab to fill gaps and stabilize the surface.
The city’s public works supervisor, Mark Dale, told council members the city’s contractor, Midwest Mudjacking, is working diligently to fill existing voids and is making progress.
About 30 people attended Monday’s meeting, with about a half-dozen speaking on the matter. One of the homeowners in the area, Kim Gasaway, praised the council for moving ahead with the mudjacking work. Afterward, she was cautious about a long-term solution.
“I am confident we are talking about moving in the right direction,” she said.
Some members of the audience and council had questions for the city engineer, who works for McClure Engineering. The company also provided original engineering work for the subdivision. Scannell said neither the engineer nor another person from the company could make Monday’s meeting.
Another member of the audience asked how the city could know if these kinds of sinkholes weren’t developing in other parts of the city, and Scannell said the city’s hadn’t been contacted by people in other parts of town.
Yet another person said only some of the homes in The Bluffs subdivision were experiencing the problems, and he was concerned the publicity about the problems would lower his property value.