The Watchdog

The Watchdog | Torn-up property won’t stay that way

Updated: 2012-12-31T04:53:07Z

The problem

Caroline Boyd of Kansas City, Kan., owns a rental property in the 600 block of Northeast 37th Street in Kansas City, North. She writes that, without prior notice to her, a contractor installed a new fire hydrant and water line in that block, and she’s disappointed in the work.

“Contractor made no provisions for storm water runoff,” she writes. “Additionally, contractor tore out the driveway approaches and didn’t replace my approach.”

The answer

Kip Peterson, spokesman for Kansas City Water Services, said he spoke at length with Boyd about her complaint and told her the work is still in progress. Inclement weather has delayed completion. He said that when the restoration work is finished, her property will look the same, if not better, than before.

As for Boyd not being notified, Peterson notes that the overall project is a large job encompassing hundreds of properties. He said hundreds of letters were mailed to the residents, including the tenant in Boyd’s property. A public meeting was held before the work occurred, but it was sparsely attended, and Boyd’s tenant never informed her of the notice.

Peterson said Water Services does provide notice, but he acknowledged the department could do more to identify absentee owners who don’t live in the affected properties and see that they are notified. He said the department will explore that possibility.

The Watchdog says he’s not receiving the volume of complaints he once did about Kansas City’s water department. An indication, perhaps, that operations are improving there.

Do you have a problem or a question about a public issue? Write to the Watchdog, The Kansas City Star, Newsroom, 1729 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108, or send email to watchdog@kcstar.com. Include your name, phone number and city of residence.

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