STARKVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- Wilson Gardner and Ruth Mosley are equally frustrated over a drainage ditch behind their homes on Carver Drive in Starkville.
What used to be a narrow passageway for water is now a crevice.
Soil continues to erode.
"When I moved out here in '81, we could step across it. Now, it's seven feet deep," Mosley said.
"I've been here 30 years. I can stand up in that ditch now, and you couldn't see me," Gardner said.
That's the least of their problems.
When the water rises, some homes close by are threatened by flood water.
"I have had it so bad at my house, I had to get all the carpet out," Gardner added.
Residents say snakes are also a problem, not to mention the odor.
Mosley worries for her grandchildren.
"My grandkids can't play in the backyard because that ditch is back there because if they do, you've got to stay there and watch them," Mosley added.
Someone is watching, and that is Vice Mayor Roy A. Perkins.
He and all but two aldermen voted Tuesday night for a plan to remove debris and pour concrete in the ditch. The price of the project is $677,700.
Perkins says he won't rest until quality of life is restored.
"This has been a very long, tedious and difficult process, but we never gave up the faith," Perkins said.
The project is estimated to be completed by the summer of 2014.
A low-interest loan from the state will cover the cost of the project less $50,000 in cash from the city.