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Jurisdiction Issues Delay House Construction

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Posted: Jul 17, 2012 4:50 PM

Updated: Jul 17, 2012 4:57 PM

WESLACO - A Weslaco man says the city halted construction of his home. Gabriel Mata is now left without power and without answers from city leaders.

The retired man tells us his nightmare started when he applied for building permits from the county. County workers said Mata's was in the city's jurisdiction.

"The city got involved, because they're the owners of my water and drainage. The county realized that and told me I had to deal with the city," explains Mata.

He says the latest issue he's dealing with involves electricity for the home.

"Their most recent excuse is that I didn't hire a licensed electrician and that's what the city requires. But the county doesn't have those requirements," he tells us.

Leo Olivares, the Weslaco city manager, says Mata needs to follow the city's requirements.

"We were not able to issue an electrical permit, because you need a licensed electrician to pull the permit. And so that didn't happen. My understanding now is that apparently an electrician did wire his house, and the wires were then covered by the dry wall. That should have not have happened, because we have to go in there and inspect to make sure the wires are up to the electrical code," explains the city manager.

Without electricity, Mata has been a victim of the South Texas heat.

"I've almost been dehydrated twice. I get these really bad stomach aches, and I go to the doctor. And he gives me medicine, because this heat is unbearable," he tells us.

Mata is also dealing with another problem. Even without having power for five months, an electric company is sending him bills.

"I don't have a meter. I don't have a light. I don't have anything, and I'm still getting billed," he says.

CHANNEL 5 NEWS contacted Green Mountain Energy. A representative tells us Mata gave them the wrong address.

"We immediately ended service and began removing all of the fees. Mr. Mata will not be charged," said the representative.

Mata tells us he will work with the city in any way he can. The city manager has agreed to meet with Mata to try and minimize any costs Mata may be dealing with.

Topics: Weslaco, home construction, delays, electricity, jurisdiction, Gabriel mata

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