Homeowners Concerned About Yeader Creek Improvement Project

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- The City of Des Moines says the phase of the Yeader Creek Grade Control Improvements Project impacting home owners between Southwest 9th and Southwest 12th is just the first phase of many future projects that will be going on throughout the entire length of Yeader Creek.

The goal is to reduce the sediment that heads down the creek and ends up in Easter Lake, but some Hackley Avenue residents Channel 13 News spoke with say they will lose a lot if the project moves forward.

Neighbors Dan Sjullie and Michael Young say they have lived on Hackley Avenue for decades. Sjullie and Young say the improvements the city wants to do to Yeader Creek will ruin what they love about their homes.

Sjullie told Channel 13 News, “You look out, our lawns, as you can see behind you, and it`s nothing but trees, and it`s privacy, sound barrier, all of that, and we`ll lose all of that with no benefit…instead of having our nice green areas that we have here, we`re gonna have a barren landscape to look at every other house in the neighborhood, places for all the kids to jump into the creek, and throw the rocks around and throw their cans and garbage and hang out and things like that, and those are our biggest concerns is just losing the greenery of our area, let alone the land.”

Michael Young says he would lose about a quarter of his yard, telling Channel 13 News, “We have a lot of deer in the fall come down across here and they eat pairs and stuff like that, and I like watching that stuff, they take all their cover off, where they gonna go?"

The two neighbors have voiced their concerns to those overseeing the project and to the Des Moines City Council. Sjullie told Channel 13 News, "The city`s rebuttals were more oriented on what they’re gonna gain by the cleaning of the creek, and reduction of the sediment and things like that. We just don`t feel that that`s going to accomplish anything other than just destroying our land and making our property values go down.”

When asked about the concerns of Sjullie and Young, Civil Engineer Dan Pritchard with the City of Des Moines Public Works Department told Channel 13 News, “We`ll definitely be taking their concerns into account and everything we`re doing is just trying to improve the overall health of the stream, remove the minimal amount of trees as we can to accomplish the work, but to get some stable banks within the creek itself… reduce the erosion, and sediment that heads down the creek, ends up into Easter Lake, and causes several issues with the water quality there…the overall goal is to reduce the pollutants, sediment, and phosphorous that are polluting Easter Lake. There’s a much larger project being taken on by Polk County Conservation Board as well as Iowa Department of Natural Resources to improve the lake, to dredge out the sediment that’s accumulated over the years, and so this project is to go up into the water shed and try to stop the sediment at its source and reduce that erosion that’s happening along the entire length of Yeader Creek."