Rifle woman is stuck between holes and a hard place

By: Thomas Jordan Email
By: Thomas Jordan Email

Janet Ketelslegers' back yard bind.

"It’s covered with sink holes, the ground is rapidly dropping and you can see how much it has sunk,” said Rifle Resident Janet Ketelsleger.

Is sinking her patience with Garfield County Officials.

"I’ve been passed off to department to department and now I’ve been at the hands of the attorney for nine months now," said Ketelsleger.

She is worried if the County doesn't take action, she could lose her property.

"It's like 20 to 30 feet from my cars, if it keeps going and if we have a wet winter, I’m going to lose my driveway," said Ketelsleger.

Janet says she's contacted Garfield County Road and Bridge, Planning and Zoning, The County Attorney, Public Works and County Commissioners, with no luck in resolving this problem.
What’s more disturbing is in 2003 she found out the land she bought, wasn't supposed to have structures on it due to weak soil. We reached out to Garfield County officials. They declined an interview, but issued a statement saying the city's staff and County Attorney's office have met with Janet in the past and County Commissioners are aware of the complaints. They say they haven't received enough evidence to prove the County owns the property, or has an obligation to help her. Therefore, they can't do anything to fix the problem.

Janet isn't giving up, she says she's met with an attorney to try to bury this back yard burden.

"I just want help, I’m just a person, I don't have resources to have the engineers come out and fix this. This should of never been allowed to happen if the first place," said Ketelsleger.

Janet says she's also worried about kids getting hurt or animals getting lost in these massive sink holes and when the time comes to sell her house. She fears her property value will go way down. Janet's neighbors are aware of the issue and are working with her to get this problem resolved.


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