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Shifting Ground Causes Alarm In Mesquite Neighborhood

A problem that has been brewing in a southern Nevada city for years may finally be addressed after residential outcry.

Residents of the Highland Hills neighborhood in Mesquite say their homes were built within a 200-foot buffer zone that supposedly surrounded a preexisting landfill.

Now, residents are sometimes able to hear their homes crack as the landfill settles and shifts beneath their feet.

Mesquite city manager Andy Barton said the city is aware of the issue and is currently investigating.

“This is a fairly complex issue. It’s going to take the city a little bit of time to put the pieces together, it goes back several years,” Barton said. “The city will be talking to, or has actually talked to, some of the parties involved and as soon as we have all of their information pulled together and have a clear path forward, we will come back and offer a statement.”

According to the St. George Spectrum, Rick Hawes, the project manager for the company that built the homes, said the builder was unaware the neighborhood extended into the buffer zone. He said the company will be working with homeowners and the city to find a solution to the problem.

Meanwhile, Barton said the city is delving into old records to get a better idea of how something like this could happen.

“This project predates me by several years and many of the people that were in this organization when this project was merged are no longer here," said Barton. "So we’re going back through the records and talking to people we can to find out exactly what happened."

Barton said the Southern Nevada Health District has been monitoring methane levels in the neighborhood since 2009. At high levels methane gas can collect in houses and pose a health risk.