ST. CHARLES, Mo. — Call it a turf war. Not over territory, but actual turf.
A St. Charles man says he won't be winning "best lawn on the block" anytime soon. And he said the I-Team it's because of damage caused by his gas company.
Alan Johnson takes a lot of pride in his property off Central School Road. His backyard is lush and green. But the front side of his property is a completely different story.
He said a project by his gas company years ago ruined his lawn and now grass won't grow.
"This [house] is the most expensive thing I will ever have in my life and I like my house to look good," said Johnson.
But there are some things Johnson just can't bring back to life.
"The grass won't grow. There's a sinkhole right there and you can see all the grass where they dug up is dipped in," Johnson said of his lawn.
Johnson said Spire, then Laclede gas, caused serious damage to his property during a road widening project back in 2005.
"I just woke up one morning and they had a backhoe up here and they just basically dug my yard up. Destroyed my yard," said Johnson.
Johnson said his driveway also had to be re-done three times because of gas-line issues.
Spire re-sodded Johnson's lawn in 2006. And they even came back out in 2017 to sod a smaller portion of the lawn. But Johnson said it's been a futile effort.
Johnson points to multiple sunken in spots on his front lawn. He said the uneven ground has even caused him injury.
"The ground is so messed up over there, I fell down while cutting grass. I come out here to try and cut my grass and all I vacuum up is dust and dirt," said Johnson.
This year, Johnson said Spire representatives told him they wouldn't be back to address the problem anymore.
"I think the problem is the stuff they put in my ground here. It's killing everywhere where they put it. There's nothing there but dirt," said Johnson.
In a statement, Spire told us:
"Back in 2005, St. Charles County made the decision to widen Central School Road. Widening the road required us to move our natural gas main which is a big project that impacts residential properties. Back in 2006, we completed the project and restored all the properties on Central School Road in a professional and timely manner, and met or exceeded our responsibilities as good neighbors. Mr. Johnson has called us back about the restorations over the following 12 years, and we’ve worked hard to meet his expectations, including replacing his driveway and replacing the sod twice. Earlier today, we again tested for natural gas leaks and found that all natural gas systems are working properly. Having worked with Mr. Johnson over the last 12 years on this issue, we don’t have anything else that we can offer him." Jenny Gobble, External Communications, Spire.