Talon News - Good Local News

By Debbie Israel


Aztec Resident's Wall Collapses


February 10, 2017

D. Israel

A loud crash wakes you at 6 am! What do you do? According to Dwayne Davis, you jump from your bed and look outside to see what has happened. Davis lives in the Pioneer Heights neighborhood, just west of Koogler Middle School, and on Jan. 12, he woke up to the sound of his neighbors block retaining wall falling into his back yard. Well, really what happened was the neighbors wall fell and hit Davis's wall, and the one of his neighbor to the north, and they fell into the lower level back yards.

The Pioneer Heights neighborhood is built on several levels, with no access between the back yards. The retaining walls are built to keep one level from falling on the next, but it seems that doesn't always work well.

After surveying the damages, he made sure everyone in his house was okay, and then called 911. The fire department came and looked but didn't have many answers ... it seemed the damage was already done and no one was injured. Several things in Davis's yard were destroyed though, including a small barn that held things like the lawnmower and Christmas decorations. He also lost a BBQ smoker in the mishap and a picnic table.

Next call he made was to the Cty of Aztec, where Davis said he talked to a lady who answered the phone and said she would have someone call him back. He was soon visited by Bob Carman, Code Compliance officer from the City, who looked and discussed the situation, and referred Dwayne to the county engineer. Carman said, "Here's the problem, the city defers construction code to the county."

So the call was put into the county engineer. Davis said he was told by the county that there were no permits pulled for the retaining walls. "But that's not true," Davis said. "Our house and our neighbor's were part of an ECHO build with the USDA so everything had to be in order."

After a couple of weeks, many frustrations, several neighborhood meetings, Dwayne said, "We're waiting on some engineering reports right now." He also said, "There are lots of nightmares, big problems up here," referring to the housing development. "No one cares that made this subdivision happen." He added that it's a waiting game at the moment, to see what's going to happen, and the neighborhood group is in the process of hiring a lawyer to help them through the issues.


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