To the Editor:
The Rich Construction Company leadership and some officials of the City of Oak Ridge should be ashamed of themselves for the total disaster that is the reconstruction allegedly going on at Jackson Square.
My family and I have been steady customers of Dean’s Restaurant and Bakery as well as some of the other businesses there for over a year. We have seen the “progress” on the project at least weekly since its beginning. The rate of progress has been abysmal at best. There have many, many clear weather days throughout last winter and spring where work could have been going on, but there was no one in sight. In fact, the only time there seemed to be ANY sign of urgency was the two days before the Lavender Festival in June. The work then was only to minimally accommodate that event. And as soon as it was over, work stopped again.
The initial completion date the business owners were promised was in June. By that time they had suffered through over five months of loss of business and disappointed customers. When it wasn’t completed by then, the owners were promised a completion date of mid-August. Well, that didn’t happen either! Now the latest promised completion date is in mid-September. Almost 10 months after the project started. Unbelievable!
It is my understanding that Rich Construction Company was awarded this contract for considerably over $1,000,000. Since they completely blew their contract obligations, the company should, in conjunction with the city officials who are responsible for this blatant fiasco, be required to reimburse the affected businesses for their losses following the original completion date and apologize to the businesses patrons and citizens of Oak Ridge for their collective mess.
As my Dad would have said, “This is no way to run a railroad!” and he could have been correct. This dismal effort by Rich Construction Company to complete the project and the associated city officials allowing this to happen continues to give the appearance of government indifference and ineptness to its citizens as well as a company that cares nothing for the people contracting with and affected by it.
I sincerely hope that the Rich Construction Company is never allowed to work under a city contract again.
Note: The submitted letters and columns published in the Opinion section do not necessarily reflect the views of Oak Ridge Today or its staff.