TOLLAND, Conn. (WTNH) - A milestone was reached in northeastern Connecticut as work on the first crumbling foundation to be replaced using funds from the Connecticut Foundations Solutions Indemnity Company was completed.
The Tolland home of Kevin and Aisling McCloskey began work on its deteriorating concrete basement the first week of April. They moved back into the home within six weeks, a month earlier than anticipated.
“It feels amazing,” said Aisling McCloskey. “I feel we can breathe a huge sigh of relief and this weight has been lifted that you didn’t fully realize you’re carrying.”
The McCloskeys were joined by several public officials and advocates. They included Michael Maglaras, the superintendent of the captive insurance company distributing the claims as well as lawmakers, town officials, the State Housing Commissioner and homeowner coalition founder Tim Heim.
“In the face of some serious doubts that we’d ever get the insurance program off the ground - we have,” said Maglaras. “We’ve delivered.”
Heim thanked the homeowners in the Connecticut Coalition Against Crumbling Basements for helping the region get to this day.
“Hope is now reality,” said Heim. “It’s because of the coalition, a small group of people, who devoted four years of their lives.”
The first reported issue of a crumbling foundation was made in the late 1990’s but it took the state government almost twenty years to respond to their calls for help.
In 2017, legislators set aside $100 million over five years to go towards creating the captive insurance company and pay out claims.
The company launched in January and has distributed more than $4 million in claims, according to Maglaras.
“Throughout the 41 affected towns, there are more than 80 homes right now that are everything from signing proposals, signing contracts with contractors to within 2 weeks of being dropped off on a foundation,” said Maglaras, who popped two bottles of champagne to celebrate the occasion. “Progress.”
Newcity Builders were the contractors for the McCloskey home. James Newcity says the company has two other projects under way and over 30 replacements lined up in the coming months.
The timeframe to replace a foundation is typically 8-12 weeks, but this home was completed in 6 weeks through a $175,000 grant from the captive insurance company.
After many sleepless nights, the McCloskeys are now back in their home and feel whole one again.
“It’s been an up and down road,” said Kevin McCloskey from his couch. “This just feels normal and its great to feel normal again.”
There are hundreds of homeowners who have submitted applications to receive grant money, but it’s believed that likely thousands of homes in northeastern Connecticut and Western Massachusetts that have the problem.
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