WAYNE, NJ – A second engineering company presented at Thrusday night’s Brittany Chase Condominium Association (BCCA) meeting providing a detailed power point presentation and a new estimated cost to repair what ails Brittany Chase. Approximately one hundred owners came out to the Wayne Hills High School auditorium to attend the BCCA meeting knowing that the engineers report was going to be presented.
The night started with a litigation report from BCCA attorney David Kurtz detailing a lawsuit that was filed on behalf of the association against former member of the BCCA board of trustees, a Wayne construction company and the current property management company for Brittany Chase. Most everyone already knew of the pending suit because of TAPinto Wayne's reporting on the matter earlier that day. See related Story.
it was the results of the engineering report that the owners came to hear about.
In June of 2018, the BCCA board provided the results of the original engineering company’s assessment which reported that the foundation beneath townhouses 8017 and 8018 were failing and a plausible cause was that the foundations of these units were laid over soil that had been filled with organic material: tree trunks, etc. Over the course of time, the organic materials broke down, the soil settled, and this was causing the foundations to fail. Their recommendation: micropiles installed to stabilize the soil beneath the units, with a total cost, including engineering fees, accounting fees, attorney fees and $300,000 to repair the interiors of units 8017 and 8018: over $2.6Million.
Nate Smith, a Principal at engineering company Simpson, Gumpertz & Heger presented a second opinion to the Brittany Chase owners at Thursday night's meeting. According to Smith, no evidence of compacted soil was found, the foundation of the building holding units 8017 and 8018 were not failing.
Smith did say that two issues were found: One was that a retaining wall within unit 8017 was built improperly and needed to be stabilized – this is what was causing the cracks in unit 8017. The other was that the slope behind the units needed to be regraded and a gabion wall needed to be rebuilt to prevent future movement of soil beneath the units.
When Smith turned to the slide in the power point presentation that showed the new estimated costs, an excited murmur stole over the crowd as they all began to talk quietly in the darkened auditorium.
The total estimated cost for all of these repairs, including engineering fees: $380,000 - $490,000. More than $2Million less than the original estimates.
The original estimates were obtained by the old BCCA Board of Trustees, led by President Jack Boydell and Vice President Paul Walmers both of whom were named as defendants in a lawsuit claiming fraud which was filed earlier this month by the current Board of Trustees. See related Story.
“I think that the owners are very happy that they can finally trust who’s on the board,” said Fran Ritter the new BCCA Board of Trustees President, who had received a round of applause from the happy owners at the end of the meeting.
According to Ritter, Ashley NMJ Construction Company, another defendant named in the fraud lawsuit, was going to be contracted to do the $300,000 worth of interior repairs to 8017 and 8018 that the original estimates said was needed.
However, during Thursday night’s meeting it was announced that the owner of 8018 had done their interior repairs themselves and received a Certificate of Occupancy from the town to rent out the property, and the second estimate only showed $100,000 needed for the interior work repairs of 8017.
The final amount that will be assessed to the owners of Brittany Chase has not been completely figured out, yet. An amount will be needed to increase the reserve account for the BCCA. This account will pay for future maintenance, repairs and replacement of major common elements, such as elevators, over the next few decades. Another report is needed to supply this information and the new board is working on getting this report.
For now, the new engineer’s report gave the owners at Brittany Chase a reason to feel hopeful.