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Some Dunbar Twp. residents unhappy with contractor

| Sunday, July 20, 2003

Some Dunbar Township residents are saying their yards were not properly repaired after a construction company dug them up to install sewage pipes. An owner of the company that did the work, however, said those residents are misplacing their frustrations.

Dunbar Township is completing an $8.5 million project to bring sewage treatment to the rural municipality. Some township residents have been opposed to the project and have argued that the $850 tap-in fee and the monthly $38 sewage bill is more than some can afford.

Some are also saying that D.T. Construction, one of the project's contractors, didn't do a good job fixing the damage it created when it went through their yards to lay pipes.

For instance, Elmer Shipley, of Ridge Road, said that after the company dug a trench in his front yard, it didn't fill it enough to bring it back to road grade. He also said workers knocked a pole supporting an arbor out of place and damaged the tops of some pine trees he has growing in his back yard.

"I'm really fed up with them," he said. "No way they're getting away with this."

Another resident who is upset is Walt Madarish, who lives along West Crawford Avenue.

He said the company left part of his back yard unlevel and full of rocks. Now, he said, he can't run his mover over the affected area ground for fear of damaging the machine.

Troy Soberdash, one of the owners of D.T. Construction, said the real problem is that the people complaining are upset with the $38 sewage fee and are taking their frustrations out on his company.

He said that 99 percent of the owners of the property his company disturbed think they did a good job making repairs.

"There's a lot of people who will tell you we did a super job."

He also said his company went out of its way to accommodate some of the people who are complaining.

John Malone, Dunbar Township Municipal Authority president, said the real, underlying issue is the sewage fee.

He also said that no matter what the contractor or the sewage authority does, they'll never be able to please everyone.

He said the restoration work is not completed yet, either. All the rain this season has slowed the company's progress. He also said the authority has withheld $11,000 in payments to the company until it completes a punch list of items.

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