October 3, 2014
Homeowners question whether remedial work at Clare Valley will be effective

Will the corrective work planned for the houses deemed to be defective at Clare Valley be effective?

This question was posed last Saturday, by two persons who own homes in the government development, who have already taken certain actions in an effort to stabilize their properties.{{more}}

The men, who identified themselves as Donnie Collins, owner of lot 108 and Rafael Barbour, owner of lot 112, said they still have problems, even after doing additional work on their homes.

Collins said after he observed that his house was shaking, he spoke with fomer manager of the Housing and Land Development Corporation (HLDC) Maurice Slater. Additionally, Collins said he consulted other contractors, who told him that it is normal for new houses to “shake and dance.”

He said the contractors, however, advised him about what he could do to fix the problems. He said when he began work on the property, he made a startling discovery.

“… Even after we started digging into the columns, two, three feet down, you hitting the column foot. So, now we recognize that these column were not put in deep enough. So, here we are with another problem where a lot of people here haven’t seen yet. I saw it, Mr. Barbour saw it, so we are a little bit ahead of the rest of them.”

Collins said he would like to know what corrective measures will be put in place, as he has already done that and still has problems.

“God help me, I would like to know what. I have done that, I have done corrective measures…”

He said he did his work on the advice of contractors, who told him the additional work would fix his problem.

“… Instead, I am seeing new cracks on my floor and cracks in the new walls…”

Collins said he is now wondering, what will be the fix for this.

“I am asking the question just like everybody else, who’s next?”

Barbour said he too has been feeling tremors, which are worse when it is breezy, while lying on his bed or sitting on his toilet.

The homeowner said he had heard complaints from his neighbours that they had gone into the HLDC and nothing had been done, so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

“As a husband and as a father, I decided to take the responsibility.”

Barbour said he borrowed an additional $20,000 from the bank to protect his investment.

He said with that money, he began work on the downstairs of his house to try to stabilize the column footings.

However, when the bobcat came to excavate the earth, it did not have to go down more than two feet before the footings of the columns were exposed.

“… I was very frightened when I saw that.”

He said he cast the floor of his downstairs and ran some blocks up the walls.

Even so, he said the house still shakes from time to time, although the tremors are now not as frequent as before.

Barbour said the problem has not been solved and he is still concerned about the stability of his project.