State Extends Deadline for Cities and Towns to Apply for Crumbling Foundations Testing Program - NBC Connecticut
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State Extends Deadline for Cities and Towns to Apply for Crumbling Foundations Testing Program

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    The state has extended the deadline for cities and towns that want to apply to establish their own crumbling foundations testing program using funds from a block grant. 

    The issue of the crumbling basements is connected to concrete poured from 1983 through about 2013 that has the naturally occurring mineral pyrrhotite in it. When exposed to air or moisture, it can cause cracking, according to reports. 

    Gov. Dannel Malloy last year announced that the state would begin offering testing reimbursements to homeowners in northeastern Connecticut who are impacted or potentially impacted by the ongoing crumbling foundations issue. 

    A statement the state Department of Housing released Wednesday says the reason for the extension is to solicit applications for funding to help residents obtain financial support to test their foundations for the presence of pyrrhotite. 

    The funds are subject to availability and only municipalities with a population below 50,000 residents are eligible for the Community Development Block Grant—Small Cities program. 

    Any eligible municipality that would like to apply must submit a letter of intent to DOH by June 15. 

    Municipalities that establish a crumbling foundations testing program with CDBG-SC funding may cover 100 percent of the costs to test a foundation for pyrrhotite, up to $5,000, according to the Department of Housing. 

    The department received one multi-jurisdictional application in 2017 and awarded $250,000. Any resident who lives in Ashford, Bolton, Columbia, Coventry, Tolland, Union or Willington can apply directly to their town for that funding. 

    DOH Commissioner Evonne M. Klein said testing foundations for the presence of pyrrhotite is the first step towards remediation. 

    “When the Captive Insurance Company is up and running, which was established through state legislation, it will offer real relief to residents of northeastern Connecticut. It is our hope that in the coming months and years we will be able to secure a long-term federal solution to address this problem, which could affect thousands of households,” Klein said. 

    To be eligible for a reimbursement of foundation testing costs through CRCOG, the following criteria apply:

    • The home must have been built during or after 1983.
    • If the home was built before 1983, but there is an addition that was built after 1983, only the addition is eligible for testing reimbursement. The homeowner must supply proof that the addition was built after 1983 (such as a building permit, certificate of occupancy, or other similar documentation).
    • The home is located within a 20 miles radius of the former J.J. Mottes Concrete Company in Stafford Springs—though the Commissioner of the Department of Housing may now grant a waiver for homes located outside this radius.
    • Visual Inspections must be performed by a licensed, professional engineer.

    Under the Capitol Region Council of Governments program, homeowners are eligible for a 50 percent reimbursement of their testing costs, up to $2,000 for petrographic analysis—core testing. Visual inspections will be reimbursed at 100 percent of value, up to $400. 

    Learn more about the crumbling foundations testing reimbursement program here.

    The last statement from the attorney for JJ Mottes is that the company is now out of business. 

    The last full statement released to NBC Connecticut in August 2016 read: 

    “In the 15 years since we took over the management of the Joseph J. Mottes Company, we have adhered to rigorous standards set forth by the American Concrete Institute and the state of Connecticut. We continue to cooperate with the ongoing state investigation so that homeowners can get the answers and real solutions they deserve. One thing that is clear to us is the extensive media and governmental scrutiny has led to another issue arising – in addition to homes affected by damage, there are now large numbers of homeowners and potential home buyers who do not have problems but are being told they will. 

    “Certainly, those homes with damage need to be remedied, but a comprehensive solution is called for - one that helps those who are not financially capable of helping themselves, guards against predators of all kinds and eases the burden placed on the real estate market. We believe that effective lower cost preventive remedial actions exist, that appropriate independent authorities can and should identify these techniques, and this information needs to be widely shared and adopted.” – John Patton, spokesman, The Joseph J. Mottes Company.

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