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Residents confused by Tooz Construction memo

A memo reportedly sent out recently by Tooz Construction in Dickinson has some city officials and residents scratching their heads.

"They (Tooz) had been charging some residents for work that they did during the tornado cleanup and we had received a few complaints about the bills that some of the residents received and the memo that Tooz Construction wrote," said Shawn Kessel, city administrator, referring to a July 8 tornado that caused damage in Dickinson.

The city instructed Tooz to bill residents, according to the memo the city says Tooz sent.

"We didn't direct him to bill anybody," Kessel said. "We would never do that."

Dickinson officials sent a letter to Tooz Construction about a week ago asking them to address the matter.

A resident talked to Kessel about the memo, and he knows at least two other residents have spoken out about it.

The city is not only concerned it was incorrectly connected to the bills, but Kessel said residents had other complaints. Some residents were either unaware they would be billed for Tooz's services or they felt they were overbilled, Kessel said.

"He (Fred Tooz, owner of Tooz Construction) says he was quite clear with people that they were charging," Kessel said. "I think there was some confusion because there was a lot of free services being offered, as far as free pickup of debris."

Kessel said Tooz has sent a letter in response to the city's letter.

"I can confirm that he has sent something and it did include an alternative memo which was changed from the first one that he had been providing to customers," Kessel said. "I did read the memo that he has proposed and it was much better worded in terms of what we were looking for."

However, he has not had a chance to read the reactionary letter from Tooz. He said, depending on what is in the letter, the matter may not go any further.

Tooz said Friday he would not comment until he received more information.