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Man's pothole damage claim denied by Colorado Springs

By Scott Harrison
Published On: Feb 13 2014 07:41:16 PM CST

City says prior knowledge of pothole location required for compensation.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -

A Colorado Springs man said the city won't compensate him for pothole damage to his vehicle because the city had no prior knowledge of the pothole.

Oldan Jones contacted KRDO NewsChannel 13 after his Nissan Altima was damaged three weeks ago by a pothole on Northpark Drive.

"(The pothole) dented my rim and knocked my wheel bearings out of place," he said.  "It's going to (cost) at least $2,000 (to repair the damage).  I'm very mad, actually.  I thought my city would do a better job of helping me."

In a letter to Jones last week, the city's Risk Management office cited the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act, under which the city "is entitled to have prior notice of a condition and a reasonable opportunity to remedy it before being liable for damages."

KRDO NewsChannel 13 first reported on the Northpark potholes last weekend.  The area has two large potholes and numerous smaller ones.  Many drivers said water draining through the area worsens the situation.

Al Trujillo works in the surrounding industrial area and said Northpark has been a problem long enough for the city to know about it.

"I've been driving across the same spot for the last seven years, and they do come out and fill it every now and then," he said.  "(But) filling it up with asphalt every couple of months isn't working."

Corey Farkas, manager of the city's Streets Division, said his department was unaware of the Northpark situation until KRDO NewsChannel 13 asked about it.

"It could be that people saw the potholes and complained about them but never reported them to us," he said.  "We run into that all the time.  We depend on citizens telling us where the potholes are -- especially the worst potholes."

Farkas said the city has eight full-time crews dedicated to filling potholes.  On some occasions, he said, workers are pulled from other jobs and assigned to pickup trucks filled with asphalt to increase the number of crews.

A crew was assigned to Northpark late Thursday afternoon, Farkas said.

City residents who want to report potholes can call the Streets Division at 719-385-ROAD (7623).   Residents also can download the "GoCoSprings"app from the city's website, springsgov.com.

To file a claim for damage from a pothole, call the city's Risk Management office at 719-385-5960.

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