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Frisian officials reviewing redress for rotting pilings


Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LEEUWARDEN The battle has been a long one for a Lemsterland group, which represented home owners facing costly repairs as a result of damage to the pilings caused by dropping ground water levels. Officials at the Frisian provincial administration allowed the water table to recede to help farmers with their grass and corn crops. Homeowners in the low-lying municipality banded together when they realized that the foundations of their dwellings were sustaining serious damage. The group was able to convince the authorities to chart the situation province-wide. The study discovered a much broader problem than realized, 3,400 cases spread out over ten municipalities in the boggy dairy region, each costing up to $56,000 to fix. The problem was even worse in three other municipalities. All involve pre-1950 pilings, now an outdated building concept. To their credit, the majority of the Frisian political establishment considers itself morally responsible and is now reviewing how compensation can be paid and by whom. Many cities in the western part of the country face similar but larger problems while no one there is accepting responsibility.