Two Okanagan families left in financial hole after contractor allegedly skips town

Two Okanagan families are in a financial and literal hole after a pool contractor allegedly took their money and skipped town.

“We hired a contractor back in late May, he came in and did all the excavation work,” said Steve Croxford, a Kelowna resident.

“He told us he had all the permits in place to get going.”

However, the contractor had no permits, according to the city.

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It’s a case of buyer beware after Stephana Johnson and her neighbour Steve Croxford found what they thought was ‘a great deal’ after finding a pool contractor on Facebook.

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They decided to hire the same contractor to build both of their pools in neighbouring yards.

What happened soon after construction began was a shock.

“That’s where he’s abandoned it basically, we paid him approximately half of the money for the pool,” said Croxford.

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The two families said they hired a man who calls himself Jared or J-Hay and his company Pyramid Pools.

The pool contractor promised them two finished underground pools within four weeks — it’s now been almost four months.

Global News talked to multiple pool companies in Kelowna who say they’ve heard of this fly-by-night pool contractor who’s left multiple people high and dry.

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Shortly after the alleged fraudster skipped out on the job, the city sent an inspector to their properties.

They issued a cease work order on Aug. 1st and the property owners say the city demanded a 71,000 dollar bond and ordered them to remove the massive dirt pile that was left on city property.

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Popular West Palm eatery Kitchen set to open second location at Alton Town Center

a man and a woman standing in a room: Aliza Byrne and Chef Matthew Byrne own and operate Kitchen restaurant in West Palm Beach. [Photo by LILA PHOTO]

Aliza Byrne and Chef Matthew Byrne own and operate Kitchen restaurant in West Palm Beach. [Photo by LILA PHOTO]

PALM BEACH GARDENS — Seven years after opening their popular American brasserie Kitchen in West Palm Beach, Chef Matthew Byrne and his wife, Aliza, are preparing to debut the sequel. 

The West Palm Beach residents will unveil their second Kitchen restaurant early next month at Alton Town Center in Palm Beach Gardens.

The eatery, which will seat 150 with ample outdoor space and a private room, joins a growing list of new restaurants at the 360,203-square-foot retail complex on Donald Ross Road.

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The location was a perfect one for the Byrnes, who were eager to expand into an area where many of their regular customers live, including nearby Jupiter.

“It’s such an amazing community there,” said Aliza Byrne, who has grown familiar with the area since her teenage sons began attending The Benjamin School. “A lot of our clients live nearby. There was such a huge demand from people who said they wished we were closer. We feel really good about it.”

Byrne said she expects to draw more year-round diners to the new Alton Town Center location, whereas the original Kitchen, at 319 Belvedere Rd., is more seasonal.

That restaurant, which has drawn a steady stream of locals and visiting VIPs since it first opened in October 2013, seated just 36 people initially and served only beer, wine and champagne for the first three years.

The Alton Town Center restaurant will have a ‘proper’ bar, Byrne said, which will allow for a bar menu and happy hour.

“We were never able to have

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Town moving forward on bathrooms at football stadium


The Paul F. Joyce Athletic Complex behind North Smithfield Middle School is the expected location of a new concession stand and bathroom facility negotiated as part of the Green Development solar project. (Breeze photo by Lauren Clem)

NORTH SMITHFIELD – A proposed concession stand and bathroom facility that was negotiated as part of the Green Development solar farm is now in the design stages and could begin construction later this year, according to Town Administrator Gary Ezovski.

Ezovski briefed members of the Town Council on the status of the estimated $275,000 project on Monday. According to the administrator, the solar company has begun the permitting and design process for the facility and hopes to begin construction in the coming months.

“There should be a plan coming to us in the next few weeks with ambition that a shovel will be able to get in the ground in the next two months or so,” he said.

The two-part facility was proposed last year as one of the benefits to the town included in the development agreement for the 38.4-megawatt solar farm currently going up on Iron Mine Hill Road. Former Town Council President John Beauregard played a role in negotiating for the facility, which comes in lieu of a one-time payment by the developer.

Ezovski said on Monday the developer has contacted him to request data about the property’s septic system that the town has been collecting for several years. The current plan, he said, is to hook up the new facility to the existing septic system at the middle school.

“As many people will recall, the opportunity to install a separate system … is something that is just not feasible,” he said. “The space just isn’t available, so what we have identified, or has been identified, is the potential

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