BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Broken promises for a new pool at MLK Park in Buffalo are leaving people who want to use it hot and heated.
The construction project could take another month or longer to finish. And that is not sitting well with Samuel Herbert. The activist is threatening to call on federal authorities to investigate the extensive delay.
"I believe in miracles. I believe when pressure is on that things get done," Herbert said.
Herbert heads the Coalition to Save Martin Luther King Park and is hoping to put some pressure on the contractor, the city and the designer. He says the east side community has waited long enough and says if the water is not flowing by this Saturday, he'll ask for a U.S. Justice Department investigation.
"When I open that Pandora's Box, it's going to be three blind mice. It's going to be the City of Buffalo. It's going to be Wendel, the design group, and it's going to be Man O Trees, the construction company," he said.
Construction began in September of 2011. The project was supposed to be completed by Juneteenth in mid-June, but it quickly became clear that would not happen. Since then, the contractor has continually missed deadlines. Construction was supposed to wrap up at the end of July. And now it's unclear when it will be completed.
Mayor Byron Brown acknowledges that the project wasn't finished for the hot summer season. But he adds the finish line is in sight.
"We're not worrying about expediting it or rushing it at this point. The city has taken the position at this point that our focus is getting the project done, getting it done right," said Brown.
But Herbert, who treated construction workers to pizza and wings for lunch, served by two Buffalo Jills, says he's tired of excuses.
"When the mayor says we want to do it right, well, we're beyond doing it right," said Herbert. "We got to close this now. And it better be done right."
The state-of-the-art water feature will include an ornamental pool in the spring, a wading pool in the summer and an ice skating rink in the winter.
Mayor Brown said, "We don't really know all of the reasons why the contractor was not able to meet the schedule. Certainly we're not happy about it."
We did put calls into the contractor and designer. Wendel had no comment. And the contractor, Man O Trees, did not return our phone call.
Mayor Brown tells News 4 that he wants to make sure once the water feature opens there are no mechanical problems with it.
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