A conversation first sparked by the NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters in July 2015 about homeowners in northeastern Connecticut dealing with crumbling foundations, continues now in 2017. Lawmakers and experts gathered in Vernon on Saturday to discuss proposed legislation to hopefully find a fix.
“That was devastating,” said Leo Vezina of Willington, who had to replace his foundation after severe cracks were found. “My wife cried for two days and we didn’t know what to do,” he said.
The Governor’s office has said that more than 34,000 homes may be affected by crumbling foundations, with a total cost to fix the problems up to $1 billion.
“It’s sad. It’s scary,” said Sheila Cyr of Tolland. She said she received an estimate of $234,000 to replace her failing foundation. “Our biggest concern is getting this taken care of,” she said.
Hundreds of people gathered at Vernon Center Middle School discussing how crumbling foundations may affect health, pending litigation and more.
“It’s definitely more promising than last year and I’m a little more impressed,” said Cyr.
Members of the Public Safety committee, which was behind the meeting, had agreed to draft what is known as an omnibus bill. It could consolidate multiple bills on crumbling foundations into one. Homeowners would only need to testify at one public hearing.
Gov. Dannel Malloy recently announced plans for $5 million in state funding to go toward conducting foundation testing for homes in northeastern Connecticut.
A number of homes in the area have suffered from crumbling foundations - what a study concluded is the result of a mineral called pyrrhotite in the concrete that causes foundations to crack and crumble years after being poured.