July 24, 2018

Bond commission to seed crumbling foundation fund

HBJ PHOTO | Bill Morgan
HBJ PHOTO | Bill Morgan
South Windsor homeowner Kristen Cole is one of hundreds who have problems with cracked foundations they claim was due to tainted cement from a defunct supplier. But Cole is one of the first to press the court for damages against the real estate broker involved in her home purchase.

A major infusion of money to assist Connecticut homeowners who have fallen victim to a rash of crumbling foundations in the state could be approved Wednesday.

The State Bond Commission is poised to approve $19.7 million for the fund, which is incorporated as the Connecticut Foundation Solutions Indemnity Company.

There are an estimated 30,000 crumbling foundations in central and eastern Connecticut, which have been tied to a mineral called pyrrhotite.

The state has selected an Ashford company, Michael Maglaras & Co., to be superintendent for the fund, to which the legislature has allocated $100 million in bonded funds over the next five years.

Starting in January, the fund will also receive money from a new $12 surcharge on certain homeowner insurance policies, as ordered by the legislature this year. The surcharge is projected to generate just over $9 million a year.

Other bonding on the agenda includes a $10 million allotment that would support the study of electronic tolling in the state. Gov. Dannel Malloy, who chairs the commission, recently ordered the study through an executive order.

Other items on the commission's agenda include:

  • $10 million to help the Hospital for Special Care in New Britain expand its inpatient facility for patients with autism;
  • $8 million for Electric Boat to support workforce development programs and the shipbuilding industry in eastern Connecticut, as well as $20 million for dredging to support the launch of submarines from a new dry dock in Groton;
  • $3 million for KPMG, related to its recently announced expansion in Stamford;
  • $750,000 for repairs to various state parks that were damaged from severe weather in mid-May, including four tornadoes confirmed by the National Weather Service; and
  • $3 million for improvements to Hartford's Front Street district, including paving, crosswalks, drainage and waterproofing.
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