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The San Diego City Council Tuesday gave formal approval to agreements in which the city will pay a total of $963,000 to three San Carlos homeowners whose Cabaret Street homes were flooded when a 36-inch municipal storm water pipeline failed during heavy rainfall on Jan. 5.

Councilman Mark Kersey, who chairs the panel’s Infrastructure Committee, described the episode as an example of what he and his colleagues are trying to correct for the future.

“Years of deferred maintenance lead to issues exactly like this where everyday San Diegans have their lives impacted negatively by our routine maintenance not being kept up,” Kersey said.

“In this case, we’ve got hundreds of thousands of dollars we’re paying out to settle these claims — and rightfully so, these homeowners deserve that – – but if we would have just done the maintenance when it should have been done, the repair costs would have been half of what the replacement cost was and these people’s lives wouldn’t have been disrupted, and we wouldn’t be paying out these settlements,” he said.

According to news reports, city officials had been warned before the storms hit that the pipeline was springing leaks.

As many as eight homes were damaged by the flooding.

The settlements went to:

— Jacalyn, Guy and Cathy Lawyer, $400,000;

— Karl and Pamela Mertins, $330,000; and

— Karen and Bruce Goodrich, $233,000.

Approval came on a 7-0 vote, with council members Chris Cate and Lorie Zapf absent.

—City News Service

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