LACONIA — Summit Avenue, the road to Governors Island, was paved with the best intentions, but has led straight to Hades, according to Richard Homsi, who claims that his property at the junction with Wentworth Cove Road is regularly awash in snow melt and stormwater.
Speaking the City Council Monday night, Homsi, who has owned his home since 1998, noted that in 2003 the road was twice shimmed and the following year was paved. "That's when the trouble began," he said, explaining that the resurfacing changed the height and pitch of the road causing the water to flow and pool on his lot.
"I'm at the bottom of the hill," Homsi continued. "The left (north) side of the road runs like a river, making its own culvert." He said that the Department of Public Works installed a grassed swale and a paved swale as well as laid crushed stone. "They're doing what they can, but nothing has worked," he remarked. "When it rains there are ducks in the swale, lined up taking a bath and you can float a kayak in the swale." He said that he needed to wear high boots to fetch his mail from the mailbox.
Homsi said that the flow has washed away shrubbery and crushed stone, planted and laid to filter, slow and disperse the run-off into the lake. Since all the run-off flows to the left side of Summit Avenue, Homsi said that with the freezing and thawing in the winter months, the left side of street is cracked and undermined. "This needs to get addressed, to get fixed," he told the councilors. "There is too much asphalt on the road and it's got to be dug up and rebuilt," he said.
However, early the next morning, after a night of heavy rainfall, City Manager Scott Myers drove down Summit Avenue and, in an e-mail to the council, reported that "the only area of standing water was on Summit Avenue and I would not call it out of line with what I saw all along my route. The area by Homsi's mailbox," he continued, "was pretty much dry. No kayaks were floating on his lawn. The swale had no standing water in it." Myers attached photographs to his e-mail.
It was not the first time Myers visited the property "I have been out to his property several times," he noted, "and have made visits there after particularly heavy rain events. I have not seen the conditions that were described last night."
Likewise, he described Summit Avenue as "in decent condition."