Frederick business owner battles city over shop flooding

Frederick_A Frederick business owner is up to his neck in water damage. Mike Peet's downtown shop says a vacant building next door is responsible for the flooding of his shop, which is now falling apart. He says the vacant building's roof pools water and leaks into his, ruining his inventory and his building. He says he has begged the owners to help, but he says they keep turning a blind eye to the problem. To make things more complicated, the owners are the City of Frederick themselves.

A city representative says Peet should be more patient, but he says he's been patient for the last three years, and that is patient enough. Water is seeping into Peet's building walls, cracking plaster, and destroying his stock. "Peet's Starter" has occupied the building for 47 years, and he says all the trouble started about three years ago. "The wall keeps coming apart from the leaking - from the other building next door," he says. The roof of the adjacent building collects water, and it drips through his wall.

Peet has had to cover his shelves with plastic to keep falling water and plaster from ruining his stock. "All the parts on the lower shelves had to be removed because they were rusting," he says. He says he has called the City of Frederick, and says they're not much help. "They say, 'ok, we'll take care of this, ok, we'll get something done. We'll get some inmates down here,' and they talk real nice, but it's slow about happening."

Peet and his son have closed up shop for the past few days, stopping business to stay ahead of the expected rain. "We've been working two days without working, just staying up there mopping it, trying to get ready for the next rain, 'cause that's going to fall during the next rain," he says. Peet says the city needs to get moving, and either fix the problem, or tear down the building. "Over time, it's gotten worse, and you know, something's going to have to be done."

Peet owns the building his shop occupies, and says he has already invested over $300 patching the roof next door to try and keep the weather at bay. The city says they will take care of the problem as soon as they can.

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