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Is It Really Progress…Or Just a Big Mess?

The property at the beginning of the road that leads to our street went up for sale in the Spring of 2014. It was a 150+ year old farmhouse on 4 wooded acres. The house was under contract several times before it was finally sold. We learned later that the property was sold to a developer who planned to build 16 new houses, which would amount to 1/4 acre lots. The street leads to our hidden development and had beautiful trees that canopied the street. In the winter, the trees often protected the road from getting a heavy dusting of snow, which made it easier to get out of our neighborhood. In the spring of this year, we left for work and when we came back in the evening, the house was torn down completely. There wasn’t a trace left as everything was hauled away in one day. A few weeks later, we left for work again only to return in the evening to what looked like a tornado had gone through and ripped out all of the trees. There were pieces and parts of trees every where you looked. It was horrible to look at and know that the trees that had stood for more than a century were gone. The trees that canopied the street were completely gone on one side. This was progress?

The first time it rained, red mud flowed down our street and into the sewers. Apparently when they cut down the trees, they also dug up the grass and weeds, so now there was nothing to prevent the erosion of the soil and it was clogging up our sewers and causing flooding in some of the houses on our street. Calls to the city went nowhere. People said they were told that there are little hiccups when you have progress. I’m sure those with flooded basements didn’t think this was a little hiccup. Large equipment was soon appearing on the property and eventually a crew arrived that would be putting in the utilities such as water lines, sewers and underground utilities. Our road leading to our homes was torn up and gravel was used to fill them in. More rain came and small rocks flowed down our street and our sewers became blocked again. Cars that were parked on the street literally had to be shoveled out to remove the rocks and dirt that were deposited around them. Holes appeared next to the drains on our street. The city came out and placed cones around the holes, but didn’t repair them. They said they would fix it when the construction was done. Or maybe they will fix it when it becomes a sink hole and swallows up someones car.

One day the crews cut our fiber lines for our cable and internet. They didn’t call it in and they didn’t stay around to wait for the company to come out and repair it. Stopping to speak to the repair guys on the second day we learned that this particular “utility installer” does it all the time at every site they are developing. We were out of television, internet and phone service for three days. Our provider said they would bill them for the repairs and the state would fine them because they never called in to see where the fiber lines were at. Which is probably why our water lines were cut several days later. Of course they tried to say that was a planned water “outage.” Shouldn’t you notify the residents that they will be without water during a certain time if it was planned? “Yes.” That was the county’s reply, but they were quick to add, “Progress means having to put with little inconveniences.” First hiccups and now inconveniences.

Our street was repaved in August, but only half of it. The rest was patched here and there. Holes and cracks are already making an appearance. I can’t wait to see what it will look like after the snowplows make a few passes this winter after a snowfall. We should have a lot of new potholes come next spring. The developer put up signs on each lot showing where each house will go. We noticed that it dropped from 16 houses to only 14. Then they apparently sold the property to another developer who put up new signs. They also raised the starting price for the new homes. Yep, looks like progress.

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