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Town of Clifton homeowners fear mudslide threat

Homeowners Tim and Sue Breher requested a conditional use permit (CUP) at the Aug. 4 Clifton Town Board meeting.

They reported getting nine inches of rain July 6. This caused much erosion around their house at 8423 N. 1251st St.

The CUP is for a retaining wall. This wall will cost $108,000, but without it their house is in jeopardy, they said.

Sue Breher added that homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover landslides or mudslides.

Tim Breher had already contacted Pierce County. He reported the county said to get the permits, but start building right away.

Added Sue Breher, “The county was calling it a hardship case.”

The Clifton Town Board approached this cautiously. The Breher’s CUP request was not on its agenda.

Ordinarily, the Town Board could only recommend approval, and grant actual approval at September’s meeting.

Added Supervisor Joe Rohl, “You don’t know how many times this has come back to haunt us.”

He said people sometimes get approval, then go above and beyond the stated project if it’s not very clearly spelled out.

“But I'm worried about it,” Rohl also said.

“It looks like an emergency,” Town Board Chairman LeRoy Peterson agreed.

Rohl asked to see the communications from Pierce County. Tim Breher gave him a copy of the emails.

Supervisor John Rohl said, “I'm going to be in favor of them working on it, before they lose their house.”  The Clifton Town Board approved the CUP.

--By Eric Johnson

For more Clifton, River Falls and Kinnickinnic town news, see the Aug. 13 print issue of the River Falls Journal.

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