TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Multiple homeowners in three counties are fed up with a contractor who they said collected money and didn’t finish work — in one case more than a year later.
Three neighbors along Trilby Avenue in South Tampa wanted to make a dangerous ditch in front of their homes safer.
“[We wanted to] put in a pipe so that the storm water would drain correctly but then we could cover it up with sod so that it would be a safe place for our kids,” Kristin Lawrence said.
Lawrence and two neighbors hired Point Drainage & Erosion, a division of Point West Construction in Tampa, in April 2021.
They forked over a $2,400 down payment on the estimated $4,800 job. They told 8 on Your Side investigative reporter Shannon Behnken that nothing happened until October, when the company showed up to dig the ditch deeper.
When they contacted Behnken last month a company project manager said the company could no longer finish the work and they would issue a full refund. He also promised to come back and pick up the pipe that was left in front of their homes. That hasn’t happened.
The City of Tampa confirmed that although the contractor applied for a permit in June 2021, it wasn’t approved. City records show comments from city permitting raising numerous issues the city wanted addressed. A city spokeswoman told 8OYS Tampa has waited since August for a response.
Meanwhile, Diane Corvello in Palm Harbor said she’s owed a $1,200 refund after she paid half and she said owner Mike Kelley promised to fix her backyard flooding issue.
“Sent us the plan, everything was going good,” she said. “The minute I sent the money, April 1, they stopped communicating.”
She said she was eventually promised a refund but hasn’t received a penny.
“We finally realized after we saw the bad reviews and what other people went through, they’re not coming,” she said. “They’re not going to give us our money back.”
Better Call Behnken received an email today from owner Mike Kelley that said his company is having hard times and recently fired its office manager for embezzlement. He said he plans to finish all the jobs unless he has to file for bankruptcy.