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City of Williams / Business with Williams has failed!

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We bought our home in Williams, Arizona in 2003. Shortly before that, the sewer main on our street had been replaced – and unbeknownst to us, the City had failed to reconnect our line to it!

After we had been there a couple of months, things started to back up. We called a plumber, who spent hours (and broke a machine!) trying to figure out what the problem was. He told us that he suspected that the line had not been connected to the main, and also shared that our neighbor across the street had had the same problem, and had sued the City to get them to fix it!

We called the City and asked about the situation. The response we got was VERY HOSTILE. Chief Building Inspector Tim Petit denied even the POSSIBILITY that the line had not been connected, as well as dodging the question about our neighbor.

So we paid for permits and contractors to dig up the line in our yard, and the line in the street out front. Guess what? THEY WEREN’T CONNECTED!

At this point we asked the City to fix the problem, and repay the expenses we had already incurred, since it was clearly their fault. We were told, instead, that we should complete the process ourselves, and then submit a bill to the City for reimbursement. The only part they would do was the actual mating to the main line (screwing the part in), since we were not permitted to touch that.

So we bought pipe, hired more contractors, recruited our friends to help, and lost more time off work. We struggled valiantly to save the one of our pair of matched 30’ blue spruce trees whose roots covered the line – and all of us were quite proud of the fact that that tree still stands. Our pastor was with us during the worst of it – switching out the pipe right there where all the, er, STUFF was backed up. We will always be grateful.

Finally, it was done. We put together the bill and presented it to the City.

Instead of a check, we got the run around. We could only get through to the Assistant. Then we were directed to the City Treasurer, Joe Duffy. Then we were foisted off on the insurance company. Every item in the bill was criticized. Apparently we paid too much for contractors’ help. But also, apparently we should have used those expensive contractors for the menial digging work as well, rather than paying some local youths a minimal fee.

All this over a couple thousand dollars, for something that was clearly their fault. (By this time they never said it wasn’t, although they went to great pains to blame it on the contractor they had hired, not to mention “these things happen”).

Eventually we got a check from the City – for about ONE-THIRD of our expense bill!

We again got the run-around of the secretaries, Treasurer Duffy, and the insurance company. We even tried writing to the Mayor, Ken Edes. Nobody responded, or apparently cared.

Did you know that you cannot sue a City in Small Claims Court? I would have had to drive into the next big city, hire an attorney, and file a suit there in the Municipal Court.

Left essentially without recourse, we have suffered in silence since then. Our daughter was born, our business in Williams has failed… We sure could use that money...

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