CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - A West Ashley church says a contractor ripped them off over a repaving project.
Members of Lovely Hill Missionary Baptist Church on Bear Swamp Road claim the contractor bailed on the project after they paid him more than $71,000 for the job.
“You can see it’s awful, it’s awful, there’s just tons of issues here,” said church pastor Rev. Michael Wright Sr.
Wright says in December the church hired Southcoast Paving in Goose Creek to do the job.
They signed a contract with owner Joe Stanko for $71,500.
“He came and started it, and after he started it he started complaining about his equipment breaking down, this equipment break down and he started giving us the runaround as far as getting the work done,” Wright said.
Wright says several calls were made to Stanko to come back and finish the job, but those calls were never returned.
The church had already paid him more than $71,000 and said the parking lot was left in bad shape.
"We are left holding the bag with grass growing all over the parking lot, cracking in various places, water settling in all over the parking lot," the pastor said.
Stanko called us to tell his side of the story.
He says December rains made the grounds too wet for his machines to do the job. He says the machines kept getting stuck in the soft ground. The contractor said church members wanted the work done right away or he would be taken to court.
Stanko also said as far as he's concerned he completed the job.
The church pastor disagrees.
"He's done what he wanted to from the very beginning. He got his money, he left," Wright said.
The church says they will likely sue.
Stanko says he’s willing to come back to fix some of the bad spots in the parking lot if he is paid the $5,000 he is still owed.