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Year after work done, Empie subcontractors still waiting to be paid

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Empie Park's Althea Gibson Tennis Center in Wilmington has been up and running for more than a year, but subcontractors who worked on the city park have still not been paid.

The 33-acre park's tennis complex opened up for business back in 2010, and subcontractors who helped complete it say they are owed tens of thousands of dollars. The city says its hands are tied.

Bill Eschert of Superior Mill Work installed the countertops and cabinets in the bathrooms and snack bar area. Out of the $15,000 he was promised, Eschert says he has only received about $2,000. He says he is one of about 25 subcontractors who have yet to be paid.

We tried contacting the city about the issue, but have not been called back. The city told the StarNews it has no control over the issue, because its contract for the park is with general contractor Cape Fear Paving.

Eschert says the city should have contacted its bonding company.

"That costs a lot of money to buy those bonds to guarantee payment for everybody," Eschert said. "In this case, we realize the city's contract with the contractor, but the contractor has declared bankruptcy and is not paying anybody, so we just don't understand why the city won't help us by calling the bond and getting everyone paid."

Eschert says many of the subcontractors have tried contacting the bond company, but nothing has been done.

We contacted Cape Fear Paving about the issue. The company had no comment on it.

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