Call 6: Indy homeowners upset their yards are still a mess weeks after water project

INDIANAPOLIS -- Citizens Energy Group has apologized to some south side homeowners after residents were left for weeks wondering what would happen to their torn up yards.

In early May, Citizens conducted a water main project on Ewing Street, which involved tearing up the grass in the right of way.

Shannon St. John and Doug Greig contacted Call 6 Investigates because six weeks after the project started, workers still had not returned to plant grass.

“Now my yard looks terrible,” said Shannon St. John in an email to Call 6 Investigates. “I’ve spent $12,000 on my driveway and porch to increase the curb appeal. Citizens came in and left my front yard with no grass at the street and what looks like a burial plot.”

Frustrated by the lack of response, St. John spent $250 of her own money to have a contractor come in, grade the area and haul off loads of dirt.

Call 6 Investigates contacted Citizens Energy Group on Tuesday about the situation on Ewing Street.

On Wednesday, crews came out to add dirt, grass seed, straw and other materials meant to restore the grass.

“It sounds like maybe they did try to call us and somehow our chain of communication broke there, and we are going to do a report and see what may have happened," said Jessica Castellanos, a spokesperson for Citizens Energy Group. “If we dropped the ball on that, when I spoke to (Grieg) I apologized. It’s part of our continuous improvement process.”

Castellanos explained when they do a project, they typically do a temporary restoration and come back 30 days later to do the final restoration.

"We like to work with our restoration contractor to provide a quote on multiple contract areas so that we can get a better rate, and so it just took us a bit longer, we just got the bids last week," said Castellanos.

According to Castellanos, Citizens performs a slew of restorations from April to October because that’s when grass will actually grow.

She also said the company does have permission to work in the right of way. 

“A lot of people don't understand where the right of way is versus their property line. So that's a little point of confusion," said Castellanos.

Shannon St. John said she was very happy crews responded on Wednesday.

“What upset me most is that Citizens would not even call us until I sent the complaint to Channel 6,” said St. John. “We really appreciate your efforts!”

When Citizens does a project in your neighborhood, they typically give you the project manager’s contact information.

You can also call Citizens customer service line at 317-924-3311.

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