Homeowners Waiting for Keith Creek Money

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ROCKFORD (WIFR) – More than 100 homeowners are still waiting for their share of a $2.5 million settlement from the city of Rockford.

City administrators have already made two payments, yet that money isn’t going into people’s pockets just yet. City attorneys say it’s up to the class action lawyers to distribute the thousands of dollars in flood damages.
Keith Creek has been the source of many problems, causing thousands of dollars in damages, but now the problem is people haven’t been reimbursed yet and some neighbors say they’re growing impatient.
“It’s just like your tax return, you have plans for it.”

John Szleszinki has been waiting years to be reimbursed nearly $40,000 for fixing up his flood-damaged home. It was hit hard by waters in 2006 and again in 2007.
“This was an on-going thing. You couldn’t go to sleep at night when it rained because of the floods.”

Szleszinski is one of more than 100 homeowners to submit claims as part of the $2.5 million settlement with the city of Rockford.

City administrators have already made two payments, about $833,000 each. However, people like Szleszinski say they haven’t seen a dime.

“It’s our money the lawyers are sitting on.”

David Dubin represented Keith Creek neighbors in their class action lawsuit. He says distributing thousands of dollars isn’t an easy process.

“We’ve been going through those files, each of those claims forms to make sure that everyone outlined the damages properly. We have set up a separate bank account, where that money is place into.”

Dubin says making sure people qualify for that money also takes time. Plaintiffs had to have lived in the area during the floods. They couldn’t have received a buyout and they had to turn in claims by February of this year.
“I just want some satisfaction that we get compensated something.”

Dubin says there will be about $1.5 million left for homeowners after attorney’s fees. He says each person’s cut will depend on his or her claims. He says he hopes to start making payments in early summer, however, if people object to their claims, eh says that will delay payments even longer.

City administrators are expected to pay the last installment of the $2.5 million in February.

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