Rough River Lake residents say easement issues aren't their conc - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Rough River Lake residents say easement issues aren't their concern ... and shouldn't be their expense

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FALLS OF ROUGH, Ky. (WDRB) -- Laura Patton has been a resident on Rough River Lake for 21 years.

She is just one of more than 150 people who gathered Monday night to voice their frustrations over a recent survey by the Army Corps of Engineers saying many homes are considered too close to the lake's 534 flowage easement level.

In essence, hundreds of homes stand partially or entirely on the government's easement and in the flood zone. 

"It's not our problem," Patton said. "We've been grandfathered in. We've been there since 1996. Why is this our problem?"

The lines were drawn in the 1950s, based on a straight line system, before most of the homes were built. They weren't based on contour or property lines.

Many homeowners received letters telling them where their home sits to the water, and any changes need to be made at the homeowner's expense.

"I would be glad to sell it to them tonight," said David Kiper, who lives on the lake. "Whatever they need to do, but if they make a mistake, they need to pay for it."

Tensions were high as residents were shocked to hear they would have to possibly pay for changes, including administration fees to have work done.

The Army Corps of Engineers has gone back to the deeds of land purchases from the late 1950s, before homes were even here.

"It is not our goal to force anyone to remove their home," said Diane Stratton, with the Army Corps of Engineers.

When asked if that could happen, Stratton replied, "I am not going to say it couldn't happen."

"I think it's crazy," Patton said. "I think it is their mistake, and I don't think it should be our responsibility to pay for all this."

A survey of an additional 87 miles around the lake has been completed, and those homeowners should learn the results of that sometime in May.

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