Pinellas County repairs unsecured manhole cover, pays for man’s $1,700 in car damage

Better Call Behnken

CLEARWATER, Fla. (WFLA) – Russell Kaye is thankful he turned to Better Call Behnken for help after running over an unsecured manhole cover on Summerdale Drive in Clearwater.

At first, Pinellas County officials wouldn’t help, saying that even though it was a county-owned road, the manhole didn’t belong to the county and they weren’t sure who it did belong to. That left Kaye on the hook for more than $1,700 in damage to his car.

That changed after Investigator Shannon Behnken discovered the manhole cover didn’t belong to any other utility. The county looked harder and realized it was a county manhole after all.

“Your segment aired and the next morning I got a phone call from Pinellas County accepting full responsibility, check will be in the air,” Kaye said. “I got it Wednesday, I was ecstatic. They apologized and did the right thing.”

The county paid for the damage and sealed the manhole cover.

Pinellas County officials initially insisted that, although this is a county road, they didn’t own the manhole or know who did. But Better Call Behnken encouraged them to dig a little deeper and, hours, later a spokesman emailed to say it’s their manhole after all.

County workers sealed and secured the manhole so this won’t happen to anyone else.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

April 24 2021 08:00 am

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