Published: Dec 07, 2012 07:10 PM
Modified: Dec 07, 2012 07:12 PM
CARRBORO - After a recent accident at Collins Crossing apartments, town officials are sending the new management a strict deadline to address recurring safety issues at the complex.
When a 10-year-old boy fell through a collapsed stair tread on Nov. 24, town staff decided to complete a thorough inspection of the apartments.
The owners, Massachusetts-based Aspen Square Management, have until March 4, 2013 to make permanent repairs to the stairscases.
Mike Canova, Carrboro’s code enforcement supervisor, said town officials will send a letter to the management company with instructions to upgrade the staircases.
Canova said management at Collins Crossing changed often when it was owned by Tar Heel Companies, which sold its units to Aspen Square in June.
The constant turnover, he said, made it difficult for the managers to stay on top of the problem
“The managers seem willing to do the work,” Canova said. “But you have to go through the proper procedures to get the permits.”
Efforts to reach Brenda Wishart, spokeswoman for Aspen Square Management, were unsuccessful.
Tar Heel Companies pulled 19 permits to repair the broken stairs at the complex, said Town Manager David Andrews in an email.
While some repairs and several inspections were performed, none of the permits were finalized, he said.
The Carrboro Board of Aldermen also had concerns about the stairwells and recurring safety issues at the apartments.
Several aldermen asked Andrews to compile a report detailing the previous accidents and safety violations at Collins Crossing.
In January 2010, a complaint was filed because of broken staircases in multiple building.
After reviewing the facilities, Fire and Building Inspections noted numerous violations of the code not only because of the faulty stairs, but also windows, downspouts and gutters in disrepair.
Six months later, stairs at another building in the complex were noted as “unsafe” and management had seven days to fix them.
In 2011, more unsafe stairs were noted in Collins Crossing when the stairs in Building A “failed.”
The management company plans to have a meeting Dec. 19 “to consider and vote to approve” a special assessment of over $5,000 on each unit.
Mayor Mark Chilton said he anticipates that the management’s board will approve the fee.
“I don’t know how they plan to spend the money, but I hope it involves making some repairs,” he said.
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