Published: Jan 11, 2013 02:15 PM
Modified: Jan 11, 2013 02:16 PM
CARRBORO - Town officials have set a March 4 deadline for Aspen Square Management to fix unsafe staircases at Collins Crossing or face legal action.
After a late November inspection, code enforcement supervisor Mike Canova found the stairwells in all but one of the buildings dangerous. The town sent a letter to Aspen’s local representative Alcurt Carrboro LLC in early December and fliers let residents know the stairs were unsafe but could still be used.
Aspen owns about two-thirds of the units in Collins Crossing, which was formerly Abbey Court and before that Old Well. It bought the units in June from Tar Heel Companies.
Canova said Tar Heel Companies made efforts to fix the stair problems but the construction wasn’t completed before the units were sold to Aspen Square Management.
The renewed call to fix the stairs came after a 10-year-old boy fell through a collapsed stair tread in building B on Nov. 24.
Alcurt Carrboro representative Jarrod Stelly said the company is making temporary repairs until it receives the proper work permits from the town.
Canova and his staff determined the most dangerous stairs are located in buildings B, D, F, J, and U. Canova said work will start on those buildings first.
“We really want to get these stairs fixed so its safe for the occupants of the building,” Canova said.
Stelly anticipates the repairs will be done in six to eight weeks.
A $5,400 assessment fee to individual unit owners, which passed at a meeting Dec. 19, could help pay for repairs in the 40-year-old buildings.
Mayor Mark Chilton works at Empowerment Inc., a nonprofit affordable housing group that owns units at Collins Crossing. He said his organization has not yet been notified about when the payment is due or if it can be paid in installments.
“It would be very hard for us to pay it all at once,” he said.