Melissa Smith received a grant from the Waco Housing Services Department to repair fire damage to her home.

WACO, Texas – A fire in May 2019 severely damaged Melissa Smith’s home. She said one room was destroyed and several others were damaged by smoke.

Later that year, when a new government grant to repair fire damage became available through the Waco Reconstruction Loan Program, she jumped at the chance and was approved.

Waco’s Housing Services Department facilitated the loan and the city approved Target Restoration Services to begin work in June 2020.

Smith said the contractor started on June 3. Three months later, Smith was still trying to find out if the job would be finished, if Target was being paid, and how much they were being paid.

Smith’s confusion started with Target Restoration Services’ estimate completed for the job in late February.

The estimate included a charge of $ 7,620 for plumbing. Under this load it says, “The above item is for the worst case. This price is to replace all plumbing under the slab.”

Smith said the company never replaced the plumbing under the foundation slab, only in the front yard and one area in the back yard.

It also lists over $ 613 for electrical work as well as $ 271.57 for smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector that had not been installed.

All painting and flooring appeared to be completed. The project total over estimate was $ 22,718.

Smith is not sure if the contractor was supposed to return to finish the plumbing or do other electrical work, but she said the company has claimed she will not be returning.

“It was supposed to be completed by June 30. It is September 10 and my house is not finished,” Smith said. “They say they are not going to do it anymore. It is not acceptable.”

However, since the work is based on a grant, Target Restoration Services is accountable to the City of Waco, not Smith. Smith said she didn’t know how much the city had paid and what job the contractor had to do.

“The town of Waco won’t tell me what they paid, how much they paid. I asked for receipts,” Smith said.

Raynesha B. Hudnell of the city’s housing department told us Thursday that they would be working on a response. At the time of this writing, we had not received a response.

Pete Rusek, an attorney for Target, told us the city will answer Smith’s questions and the city has no issues with the work being done by Target Restoration Services.

“City were there last week, know Smith has questions and will answer those questions,” Rusek said.

Rusek also said the labor total was changed to $ 25,165.54 and his client was only paid $ 12,582.77. He didn’t say what they were waiting for to get the rest of the money.


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