Bernice Martinez is close to recovering her losses.

On Monday, the Dublin City Council approved her $1,200 request for cleaning supplies and labor she spent after two sewage backups flooded her home.

Discussion began with City Manager Jerry Guillory explaining the situation to the council. He talked about the action taken by the public works department, summarized discussions held between the city, Habitat for Humanity and Martinez, and suggested the council only consider the request and the city's involvement in remedying a solution.

"There is still no firm at fault," Guillory said."Fingers could be pointed in both directions." 

Vice president of Habitat for Humanity Dr. Kelly Williams said the goal of the organization is to improve people's living conditions - something that did not occur in this instance.

"We have moved Bernice from one inadequate house to another," Williams said.

He also said Habitat and the contractor, Bob Small, were never notified during construction about the sewer problems, despite Habitat's effort to get questions about potential problems answered.

"We appeal to you to help get this problem resolved," Williams said to the council.

Councilmen Aaron Locke and Jimmy Milican asked questions in an attempt to get to the root of the problem - and determine the city's liability.

"We have to ask questions and determine exactly how liable the city is," Locke said. "Only then can we decide how much of city funds to spend (on the reimbursement)."

Mayor Tom Gordon and councilman Tommy Sperry both said the city did not need to consider Martinez's request for pain and suffering, and that charging $20 per hour was too much for cleaning raw human waste.

"I am willing to pay her $10 an hour," Gordon said. "That's what [the city's insurance company] would pay."

But others disagreed saying Martinez's request was not excessive.

"Twelve-hundred dollars is not an unreasonable amount for everything she has dealt with," Calvin Ratliff said.

The hour-long discussion ended when Locke moved to reimburse Martinez in full. Everyone, with the exception of Sperry, agreed.

The council is still searching for a long-term solution to solve the sewage problems plaguing 102A Comanche Street.