Couple frustrated with city’s lack of help when trash truck damaged their car

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- February 22 is a day Megan and Donald Schwemin won't soon forget because they've been in a battle with the city ever since.

It marks the date a KC trash truck slammed into the back of their car, which was parked on the street in front of their Columbus Park home.

"I was leaving for work and there was a city worker waiting outside in a white truck to talk to me," recalled Megan Schwemin, who remembered being initially impressed with how the city handled the accident.

She said the city worker apologized and gave and told her the city would pay for the damages. But when her husband asked for a rental car in the meantime, the representative for the city, Christopher Brooks, refused.

"He said it was still driveable," Donald Schwemin said, but it doesn't even have a back window, and this was during the winter.

Once Donald Schwemin pointed out the problem, he said Brooks promised to check with a supervisor and get back to him. But that's the last he heard from him.

A week later, the Schwemins heard from the body shop that their car was repaired, but they weren't allowed to pick it up because the city hadn't paid the $3,500 bill. The Schwemins were beyond frustrated at that point, but still couldn't get anyone from the city on the phone.

So the couple made a personal trip to City Hall.

"We demanded to talk to someone and by us being upset they let us talk to someone and allowed us to have a rental car," said Megan Schwemin, who, as a taxpayer, found it troubling that the city was finally paying for a rental car even though their own car was repaired.

So why did the Schwemins call FOX 4 Problem Solvers?

The Schwemins said their rental car was only approved for a week, but that was two weeks ago. They can't get a hold of anyone at the city to tell them whether they can keep the rental car or when they can finally get their own car back.

Problem Solvers called city spokesman Chris Hernandez. He said city workers have a lot to do and can't always be expected to return phone calls as quickly as people want. But he assured Problem Solvers that the city was aware of the Schwemins and taking care of their needs.

He said it has taken more than two weeks for the city to pay the Schwemins' car repair bill because processing city paperwork takes time. Hernandez estimated the check should arrive this week and, until then, the city will continue to pay for the Schwemins' rental car.

We let the Schwemins know, since no one from the city had ever told them.

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