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Cherokee Metro Water District pays homeowners for damages from January water main break

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Since a 13 Investigates special report that looked into Colorado Springs homeowners paying for damages caused by a water main break, the water district involved has agreed to pay thousands.

Because the water main break wasn't on the homeowner's properties, it was in the middle of the street, residents were left to foot the bill without help from insurance. Additionally, Cherokee Water Metro District wasn't considered responsible for damages because they were "not negligent" with repairs.

Since the May 9 report, Cherokee Metro Water District has paid multiple homeowners thousands of dollars over the water main break in January.

In March, the Cherokee Metro District Board approved up to $25,000 payments to each homeowner impacted by a water main break on Pinon Jay Drive in East Colorado Springs.

In addition, Cherokee Metro says they have paid other homeowners lesser amounts as well in recent months.

However, two homeowners say their damage exceeded the amount the board agreed to pay in March. Alex Olson paid $30,000 and Jeff Bandy paid $27,000 in damages to their basements.

13 Investigates has learned that Olson has now been fully reimbursed by the water district. The board paid him just under $30,000 for his basement repairs. This includes more than $4,000 beyond the amount they agreed to pay for each homeowner.

However, Bandy has not yet been paid because he hasn't reached an agreement with the waterboard.

Cherokee Metro Water District and Bandy have been in stark disagreement on how much damage occurred and the costs associated with it.

Bandy was given $10,000 from Cherokee Metro's insurance provider, and an additional $5,000 from his insurance provider because he had a "special clause" in his insurance plan.

However, the water utility company has challenged the amount invoiced by the company that fixed the damages to Bandy's basement, Rare Restoration.

Cherokee Metro says four doors and a sink were removed from Bandy's basement during the restoration process that did not incur water damage, and therefore, did not need to be removed. Bandy received an invoice from Rare Restoration for more than $13,000.

Then, Cherokee Board Member Dennis Daniels visited the owner of Rare Restoration, Doug Weatherman. At that meeting, Daniels says Weatherman offered the water district a 10% discount, bringing the invoiced amount down to $11,753.24.

The latest offer from Cherokee to Bandy for water damages is for $9,555.18. A number that Cherokee Metro General Manager Amy Lathen says is the accurate amount for repair costs.

“All of Mr. Bandy’s costs have been either paid or offered to be paid short of $1,596.16. That represents some items that were not touched by water but were touched to some degree by the restoration company," Lathen said.

The owner of Rare Restoration, Doug Weatherman, told 13 Investigates they removed multiple doors and a sink that was affected by water damage.

In a statement to 13 Investigates, Weatherman said, "In this particular case Mr. Bandy had no fault; neither did the elements of his home's plumbing and the amount of damage was quite severe."

13 Investigates reached out to Lathen after receiving this statement from Rare Restoration. Below is Lathen's response:

Newly elected Cherokee Metro board member Michelle Kinney was the only board member that advocated paying Bandy the invoiced amount and money that he has already paid the restoration company for damages.

"We just need to settle it," Kinney said. "Give me one week. I will come back to the board with something that Mr. Bandy will accept and perhaps you will and if you don't, you are on your own," Kinney said.

However, the rest of the board members decided to approve a motion to pay Bandy $9,555.16. Bandy told 13 Investigates he has already paid Rare Restoration the full invoiced amount, $13,059 out of pocket.

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Sean Rice

Sean is a reporter based out of Pueblo for KRDO. Learn more about him here.


1 Comment

  1. Rare Restorations is not a good company. The crash and reopen every 2-3 years per public records. That will tell you a lot about them. The previous companies had bad BBB reviews and complaints.

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