STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - It has been a long three months for people who live and work along East Mountain Street in Stone Mountain.
According to city officials, workers walked off a sidewalk improvement project in mid-January leaving behind patchy pavement, construction barricades and even equipment.
“It's ruined our business. I mean, it's been awful," said Nan Nash, who owns Stone Mountain Emporium, an antique store at the corner of East Mountain Street and Second Street. “We talk to the tourists and their main question is, 'Why is it not complete?' And my neighbors' questions are the same.”
The City of Stone Mountain awarded a $978,779 contract for the work to Construction 57, Inc., a company based in Lilburn, in April 2016. The entire project was only supposed to take nine months, but the contract dispute has now stretched it to more than a year.
According to City Manager ChaQuias Miller-Thornton, the disagreement stems from the part of the contract dealing with change orders for the project.
"Currently, legal counsel for the City of Stone Mountain is in negotiations with legal counsel for the contractor of record. We are working diligently to resolve the matter and to come to a point where construction can resume and we can move toward project completion," city officials said in a statement. "We are confident that we are close to a [resolution] in this matter."
The owner of Construction 57 referred questions to his attorney, but said the company plans to sit down with city officials to resolve the issue either Monday or Tuesday.
Nash, who served as a member of the Stone Mountain City Council for 12 years, said she knows these types of things can take time, but she hopes it can be resolved soon.
“I understand, but that doesn't help my business and it doesn't help the tourists that come through here every day and say, 'Oh, my goodness!'" Nash said.