Local asphalt company fixes couple’s botched driveway

Blacktop Paving put down a black-colored gravel driveway for the couple in 2016

The Polhamus' driveway after a paving job by Blacktop Paving (left) and the driveway after Superior Asphalt's fix on June 8, 2017.


LYONS, Mich. (WOOD) — A Korean War veteran and his wife who were scammed out of $9,000 by a fake paving company have a new driveway.

Jeff Kresnak owns Superior Asphalt. After seeing Target 8’s story on John and Ruth Polhamus, his company decided to step forward and give the couple a new driveway for free.

John and Ruth Polhamus, Blacktop Paving
The job done by Blacktop Paving in 2016

“We love to give back to the community and when we heard the story of the Polhamus’ getting taken advantage of and getting ripped off and taken advantage of by people in our industry, it was [awfully] disturbing,” Kresnak told Target 8.

In September, a company by the name of Blacktop Paving stopped at the Polhamus’ home off Divine Highway near Lyons. They offered to lay down a new blacktop driveway for a big discount.

“We kind of figured it would be around $400-$500,” John Polhamus said.

When the job was nearly finished, the salesman came to the door with a bill for more than $9,000 and demanded cash. The salesman followed the couple to their bank in Grand Ledge and once paid, he and his crew disappeared.

Instead of a smooth blacktop driveway, the Polhamuses were left with black-colored gravel.

A Superior Asphalt crew fixing the Polhamuses’ driveway on June 8, 2017.

“What they got was some gravel that the people came in and painted with an asphalt emulsion,” Kresnak said. “What they got was probably about a $300-$400 value. That was all they got.”

A Superior Asphalt crew dug up the scammer’s work Thursday and replaced it with a smooth, new, asphalt driveway.

“What better and more fitting way to give back to the community than to help them out and get their driveway paved for them,” Kresnak said.

The Polhamuses were very thankful to the company for their generosity.

“It surprised me, really, that they are gonna do it free,” John Polhamus said. “It really makes me feel good. It’s really nice of them.”

As he watched the paving machine lay down the new driveway, John Pohlamus said he was amazed Superior Asphalt didn’t want any money for the job.

“I just don’t understand how a company can do all the work these guys do and everything and not want some money from it,” he said.

But Kresnak had a simple answer for him.

“You know what, you’re a Korean Vet. You’re a senior citizen. I love giving back,” he said.

Along with their thanks, the Polhamuses are also offering the best kind of review for Superior Asphalt: recommendations. John Polhamus said he plans to talk to his neighbors about the quality of Superior Asphalt’s work.

Jeff Kresnak, owner of Superior Asphalt, talks to John Polhamus on June 8, 2017.

Superior Asphalt is a paving contractor that also manufactures asphalt in Grand Rapids and Lansing. In Business for 34 years, Kresnak said he has seen similar scams in the past and that companies like Blacktop Paving usually come into Michigan from the southern states, work an area for a short time then move on because they don’t want to get caught by police.

“The best advice I can give is go to the last three jobs that they did,” Kresnak said. “Demand to see the work and talk to the customers that they worked for.”

Blacktop Paving claimed to be based in Ionia, but the Ionia County Sheriff’s Department traced its phone number to a fake name and address in Georgia.

As for the Polhamuses, the new driveway should last twenty to thirty years.

“I really appreciate it,” John Polhamus said.