Oakland City residents frustrated with ongoing water line projec - 14 News, WFIE, Evansville, Henderson, Owensboro

Oakland City residents frustrated with ongoing water line project

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Neighbors in Oakland City say they're frustrated with the city's ongoing water line project that they say is leaving some of their properties a mess. 

The city says the nearly $7 million project was supposed to be completed last week, and on Monday night, neighbors said they want to know when their yards will be back to normal.

"Every time anyone talks to me about my business, the first thing they say is, 'Wow, they're really doing some work on your water lines out there,'" resident Laci Tucker says.  

Along Morton Street in Oakland City, Tucker says the front yard of her business is looking more like a dirt mound.

"Very frustrated because you're trying to give a professional first impression with your business. It's really hard to do whenever someone pulls into your driving and sees horrible landscaping," Tucker says.  

According to the city, a 60 day extension has been granted to contractor, Hughes Paving, which means the city's $6.8 million water line project could continue into July.

"We definitely need the work done but its absolutely devastating that it's taken so long to make happen," Tucker says.

"I try to assure the city that we're doing the best we can with the conditions that we have," Oakland City Mayor Hugh Wirth says. 

Mayor Wirth says a rainy spring is partly to blame, but in April, Wirth says the city delayed payments to the company until more progress was made. 

"We were just getting enough complaints. Then my board, we talked it over and discussed it and felt that might be one way to put more attention on the reclamation," Mayor Wirth says.

The owner of Hughes Paving, Mike Hughes, spoke to 14 News by phone. He says there were unforeseen delays and he's working with the city to get the project done as quickly as possible.

Tucker says that is welcome news.

"I know that it's going to be great when we get the water done, but it's going to be really nice whenever the community can look like something else again," Tucker says.

Mayor Wirth says anyone with concerns should contact city hall. The city will then address each issue on a case by case basis.

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