Campbell River Mirror

Downtown business owners battle trees, city

A pair of Shoppers Row business owners say they are continually dealing with flooding in their building because of tree roots the city refuses to remove.

Tricia Murphy and Michael Murphy say roots have been growing under their building in the 900 block of Shoppers Row for a number of years and are causing headaches for their tenants.

“They have grown and extended under our building, pushed the grout out of our sewer line connections thus getting into our sewer line and causing blockages which lead to flooding our tenant’s spaces,” said the Murphys in a letter to the city. “This is unacceptable.”

In the past, city crews would snake the line to get the water flowing in the event of a backup, but only after the flood occurred.

The Murphys later hired an outside company to snake the lines on a regular basis to prevent flooding and the city would pay for the service.

But the Murphys said that all changed recently after the city decided it was no longer its responsibility to deal with the problem.

“We then received notice that they would no longer do this as it’s our pipes that are the problem, not the city’s trees, according to them,” the Murphys said. “We disagree with this assertion and ask that the city do something to remove their trees’ roots from under our building before serious damage occurs. The current situation is intolerable and completely unfair to us and our very patient tenants.”

The Murphys are confident the problem is the trees.

They’ve owned the building for 20 years and said they had no problems with the pipe lines until the existing trees were established.

The Murphys letter was on the agenda for Tuesday’s council meeting after the Mirror went to press.

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