CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The heavy equipment and noise is a welcomed sight outside the Leadership Martial Arts on South Tryon. Business owner Derek Richardson has been waiting a long time for this.
"It has been almost a year coming at this point," Derek tells us.
Derek began construction on the new and bigger location of Leadership Martial Arts last fall, but the sewer plans backed them up and put in costly delays. Derek told me it was government bureaucracy at its worst and that his small business was paying the price for it.
We asked, "Is it NCDOT or CMUD?"
He replied with a smile, "Yes."
Derek says he spent almost $10,000 supporting his new location while it was empty but ready, and the old, smaller, cramped location where he was going month to month.
When he wrote to me asking for help, I contacted CMUD, which responded by telling me, "Engineering wise, it's a complicated situation," and said they were "working to get service established as quickly as possible."
And that they did. Derek got a temporary certificate of occupancy days later, and now, workers are putting in the main and permanent sewer lines.
It means the kids in Derek's many summer and after school programs have more room to bumble and stumble as they rumble and tumble.
Today, an all smiling Derek says of the job that's almost done, "The extra visibility has helped us grow and we are able to utilize all that extra space, so much more so than at the old location. It's a dream come true."
In CMUD's defense, it was a complicated issue. There were the rights and boundaries of another property owner to consider, as well as issues with the road surface of South Tryon. Dig too close to the road, and some sort of a sinkhole might occur.