Sutton Flooding


Bill Hopen is a sculptor who's called Sutton home for 30 years. His works of art can be found inside West Virginia’s State Capitol and throughout the world. But he's put his craft on hold.

How can you focus on the tranquility of art when someone is suing you!

It's not just someone; it's the city of Sutton suing him. The water that flows beneath Hopen's art studio goes on to slam into the back of his neighbor’s property causing it to flood. That business is suing the city and in turn, the city's suing Hopen blaming him for the damage.

Hopen says this underground video he shot shows the problem is not his fault. “It comes from what's up there 100's of acres, 100's of homes.”

This is actually Hopen's neighbors property the city is also suing them. But Hopen says the water has no where to go and that's the city's fault.

Council members won't comment on the suits and countersuits. But the City Attorney will say if the town is held responsible. He believes the two nearby property owners are also responsible.

Dwayne Ruggier, City of Sutton's Attorney; says “The town is under an ethical obligation to do what's in the towns' best interest and it's ethical obligation and responsibility is to all its citizens, not just one.”

Bill Hopen says, “I’m holding out my hand and saying please, let's work together and let’s solve the storm water problems coming down North Hill Road, I’ll be on a committee.”

Hopen says for his family's financial future, he hopes the city backs down.

Hopen asked the council to drop the suit against him. Members said they weren't prepared to make any decisions, but they'll know more at their next meeting in two weeks.

Hopen plans to file a counter suit as well but said tonight he'd hold off until the next meeting.


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