Fix it or pay: Peru residents forced to repair ‘eroding’ dams

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PERU, In (OCT. 14, 2014) - Fix it or pay, that's the reality that the owners of six deteriorating  dams are facing.  The dams sit in the Hidden Hills subdivision in Peru.

The Indiana Department of Natural Resources sent a letter to the dam owners and the Miami County Board of Commissioners saying that the dams need to be improved.

"They felt like we needed to make some alterations to the dams," said Larry West, one of the dam owners.

West lives in the scenic subdivision, and is also a county commissioner.  His  house sits on one of the many dams throughout the property.

"There’s what I would consider minor maintenance  issues.  The dams are roughly 23 years old," said West.

The DNR letter says the property owners that live on the dams have until the end of the month to bring in an engineer and determine what needs to be fixed.

However, the inspection is costly.

"I don’t see anything that I would consider a serious pending failure of a catastrophic nature," said West.

"(It's) $5,000 per dam so that’s $30,000. That's a rough estimate. It will take a $250,000 per dam to make the necessary changes."

West says he is subject to a $10,000-a-day fine if he doesn't bring in an engineer by the end of the month.

"We are subject to a Class B infraction. I think it’s a new infraction everyday beyond the 30 days," said West.

West says he plans on submitting a written appeal to the DNR within the 30 day requirement.