When the Department of Transportation’s construction of Highway 14 began in front of The Finishing Touch Flooring and Design Center, owners Stacy and Josh Anstice knew it would be bad for business. However, they didn’t learn exactly how bad until a rainstorm months after the project was complete.
The Anstices said while DOT-contracted company James Peterson and Sons was rebuilding a retaining wall, it made it about two feet too high. So when a heavy rainfall hit in June, the water had nowhere to go but inside their store.
“The water was coming down through here, hitting that and draining right back into our building,” Josh Anstice said, describing the flooding.
Their insurance company and Cross Plains officials immediately identified the wall as the problem. Peterson and Sons brought it back to the original level in July, but the damage was done. What wasn't ruined by the water was covered in mold.
“It cost us thousands, thousands of dollars in displays alone,” Josh Anstice said.
To add insult to injury no one, including the DOT, engineers or contractors took responsibility, the Anstices said.
“It was kind of just a big circle of the blame game,” Josh Anstice said.
In a statement the DOT said it’s the “contractor's obligation to address any damages related to their work.” The DOT added that they are withholding payment until the problem is resolved.
Without a resolution so far the Anstices have spent $20,000 of their own money to repair their building. They are pleading with the people involved to take responsibility.
“Fix it, and fix it right, make it whole,” Josh Anstice said.
News 3’s calls to James Peterson and Sons have not been returned. The Village of Cross Plains issued a statement to us saying that it stands with The Finishing Touch. The village said it is demanding that the DOT solve this problem. The statement also pointed out that flooding never happened at this building until the DOT started the project.