Whistleblower 9: Neighbors upset by condition of roads

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MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C.,None - Some people who live in east Mecklenburg County say their roads are falling apart, and that they're on the hook for the hefty price tag.

The main street leading into the Rocky Ridge neighborhood in east Mecklenburg County has some huge potholes.

Ken Barker said they get bigger every year.

"This is about 6 inches -- 5 or 6 inches," he said. "This one is the deepest."

Alex Schott showed Channel 9 crumbling pavement on her street.

"You could probably kick half of this out right now," Schott said.

There are also damaged or missing stop signs.

When they called to get all of the issues fixed, they got some bad news.

The North Carolina Department of Transportation said the developer who built the neighborhood in 1997 never asked the state to take over maintenance of the streets.

Now, the road has to be fixed and meet certain standards before the state will even consider taking it over.

Repairs will cost $300,000, which is $2,000 per homeowner.

Residents and home builders told Channel 9 Squires Enterprises developed the neighborhood. Channel 9 found out the owner of Squires Enterprises died last year.

Mecklenburg County records show the company has an overdue tax bill.

Eyewitness News went to its listed address in south Charlotte and found a different company that says it's been there for five years. Channel 9 couldn't find any evidence that Squires Enterprises is still in business.

David Goode with Mecklenburg County is organizing a meeting for the homeowners in January and a vote on whether to accept the repair cost. If 75 percent vote yes, the county will assess a special fee to each homeowner and hire a contractor.

"At that point, we can go to NCDOT and solicit them to take over the streets long-term," Goode said.

It's quite a cost for homeowners like Schott.

"I don't know if I have a choice," Schott said when asked about voting for the plan. "Because it needs to be fixed."

Eight years ago in Mecklenburg County, a rule took effect that forces developers to pay a bond. That bond is not lifted unless they finish roads and then petition to have them taken over by a local government.

PDF: Information on road additions