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MGE work draws the ire of neighbors who say workers left a giant mess

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Some neighbors in Kansas City's Oak Park neighborhood are fired up at Missouri Gas Energy crews rolling around their neighborhood. They say the workers, who are installing new natural gas pipelines, are leaving behind a big mess with potential safety hazards.

A spokesperson for MGE says the owner of the property gave them permission to leave a huge pile of concrete and plastic pipes there temporarily, but several neighbors say MGE is creating a growing mess in their neighborhood. For the last three weeks, workers with MGE have been digging up streets, tearing up curbs and rolling around on backhoes.

Crews are on the go installing five miles of new, natural gas pipelines. Oak Park's neighborhood association president Pat Clarke welcomes the pipeline upgrades, but he says the workers have left behind piles of concrete, crumbling curbs and sloppy, new sidewalks that Clarke says should have asphalt, but instead are covered with dirt and rocks.

"We've got concrete like this over here, everywhere.  They're tearing out and moving on. They're going block to block-to-block. Meanwhile we got to wake up to this everyday," he said.

Valinda Fisher-Hobson said for the last two weeks, the workers have left plastic pipes, cables and empty cans outside the house she's renovating.

"They need to clean up the area that they started. As you can see they dug this up and there's also trash in all the sewer lines," she explained.

An MGE spokesperson says periodically crews will come by and pick up the tossed pipes and concrete. Brandy Jones lives in the neighborhood with her four children. Jones says while MGE  has put plastic fences around several deep holes the workers dug, she still worries her little ones could fall into the uncovered holes.

Her message to MGE?

"Be safe for our kids and have your employees to please clean up their mess," she said.

Clarke echoed that sentiment.

"Respect us like you respect everybody else. Three weeks is too long," he said.

The MGE spokesperson says once the project is finished in six-to-eight weeks they will restore all sidewalks, curbs and streets they've torn up during the project.

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