LUBBOCK, Texas — Kathryn Marshall and her husband said they paid the city of Ralls to dig from their sewer tap to their fence, but the city only dug to the sewer tap, leaving behind a hole.
The Marshalls want to connect their sewer tap to their water pipe, and said the hole is holding up construction on their business plans to build an RV park.
“Public works came out and told me that they would actually dig this entire area,” Marshall said.
After contacting the city office, the city administrator said the mayor would address the matter next Tuesday.
The couple said the hole has been there for a month, but nothing has been done with it. They said they’ve reached out to Ralls many times but the city does not give them a clear answer as to whether they will dig to the property line.
“They came out a couple days later and they put in this tap but they didn’t finish the job,” Marshall said.
The Marshalls said the hole poses a hazard to their truck rental business. They said they fear the trucks will not see the hole and drive into it.
“It’s really a hazard and it’s been open for a month,” Marshall said.
The Marshalls have a receipt for the work they paid the city to do, but the receipt doesn’t specify whether the city was responsible for digging up to the Marshalls’ property. The receipt only contains the words “sewer tap.”
“Ralls is responsible for that because it is the city’s easement. It’s their utility alley,” Marshalls said. “There is utility lines gas lines, water lines, they don’t want to touch it.”
Shawn Thomas with Mr. Rooter Plumbing said even if there are gas lines, a plumber can still dig to connect the tap to water lines, however, each town is different.
“That’s just something you have to check with each individual city on,” Thomas said.
According to Ralls city ordinance, “it shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to make any excavation or embankment in any street, alley or public easement in the city, without first obtaining a permit from the city.”
Thomas said a plumbing company can dig to the Marshall’s property line.
“You have to have a licensed plumber to pull a permit and do the work for you,” Thomas said.
But the question remains, what exactly did the Marshalls pay the city to do? Dig to the sewer tap or dig to the property line?
The city of Ralls was not available for comment, and said over the phone the city can only dig to the tap because the city does not have a licensed plumber to do the work.
The Marshalls, however, said the city told them via voice recording, they would be able to dig to the Marshall’s fence and finish the job.
“The city needs to complete the job they were paid to do,” Marshall said.