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Attorney further explains Phillips Ditch case

By Victoria Advocate
May 6, 2011 at 12:06 a.m.
Updated May 7, 2011 at 12:07 a.m.


In reference to "Facts about the Phillips Ditch case explained": It is indeed unfortunate that the city of Victoria has determined to try this case in the public media instead of the public courtroom.

Normally, I ignore such tactics; however, in this case, a response is necessary to correct public information and to offset the fabrication of facts applied by the city.

Fabrication No. 1: The 1941 Bramann letter to the city does not say this: ".agreed to assume any damage from the ditch to his property in exchange for the city council allowing him to fence that property including the drainage ditch."

The 1941 letter actually says, "I hereby respectfully ask permission to be allowed to place sufficient tiling along the east and west lines of my property and in said ditch to support the fence which I propose to build. This work will be done at my own expense, and I will assume risk as to damage caused to my property by reason thereof." Damage caused by the fence, nothing else.

At no place does the previous owner agree to accept all damage from all water for all time from the city.

Anybody with an eighth-grade education or better can figure that out.

Fabrication No. 2: "AS IS" purchase by Keith Redburn. If I were to use the same perverse logic used by the city, then I would say Redburn purchased this property on a dry day with no water in the ditch; therefore, he purchased it "AS IS" - dry.

Fabrication No. 3: Three options presented by Redburn that the city says that "none of which are realistic and several of which are illegal."

Here are Redburn's options:

Option one - City remove culvert and reroute storm water. OK, this would be expensive to the city but not illegal or unrealistic.

Option two - Redburn would rent access to city for $1,500 per month, and the city would clean out, maintain ditch and pay costs reopening culvert.

Not illegal nor unrealistic.

Option three - Redburn, at his own expense, would construct a culvert across his property equal to or better than the existing culvert and grant city a 12-foot easement where the culvert crosses property, and the city would reimburse Redburn over a period of several years for costs.

Estimated costs by a contractor is in neighborhood of $150,000. Not illegal nor unrealistic.

And if the city can spend $100,000 of infrastructure funds for a lobbyist, then surely it can spend $150,000 for infrastructure.

Norman D. Jones is the Victoria attorney for Keith Redburn.

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