A potential settlement with Parkchester South Condominium management over its ‘draconian’ maintenance fee increase is in the works.
On Tuesday, August 2, Senator Ruben Diaz, Sr. and Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda announced a proposed settlement with PSC’s management regarding its efforts to impose a 15.19% maintenance increase for PSC unit owners at a town hall meeting at St. Paul’s Church gymnasium on 1891 McGraw Avenue.
The proposed settlement states unit owners who meet documented financial hardship requirements or 30 to 40% income levels would pay the maintenance increase over four years.
Sepulveda, an attorney for the condo owners, and Diaz, a PSC unit owner and lead plaintiff, filed a lawsuit last March 23 in Bronx Supreme Court against PSC’s management over the hike which it claims is needed to make structural repairs.
The court barred management from evicting any of the 8,286 unit owners for failing to pay the increase until the outcome of the court case.
Sepulveda said the proposal is based on owners’ income and what percentage of it goes toward their mortgage, maintenance and other expenses.
Diaz is grateful for every effort trying to resolve this matter for PSC’s families, senior citizens and disabled residents, but is concerned that 2015’s budget and 2016’s projected budget have not yet been shared with owners and residents.
“Transparency remains a key factor,” he said. “We all need to be able to review those documents to see where and how the money was spent and will be spent.”
As previously reported, PSC explained the 15.19% temporary maintenance fee hike was necessary to address wide-spread water infiltration and damage to the buildings’ roof slabs which needed immediate attention.
If not, this would lead to ceiling collapses resulting in potential injuries, owner displacement and leaving units in a state of disrepair rendering them unsellable.
When work is completed in 2017, PSC’s board intends to revert the maintenance fees back to 2015 levels of 2.5%.
According to PSC, last year, 56 buildings underwent 15 full roof replacements, 12 Local Law II Façade Inspection Safety Program repairs, ten emergency leak repairs and 21 temporary leak repairs.
Nearly $9 million from the 2015 budget, $4.8 million from PSC’s capital reserves and $1.5 million from operations savings covered the $15.3 million cost.
This year’s repairs for 21 buildings include permanent leak repairs in all buildings, full roof replacement in 14 buildings, partial roof replacement in five buildings and FISP repairs in all buildings.
The total cost is projected at $10.8 million including sidewalk bridging, permits and engineer fees.
In addition, structural slab repairs are needed for 173 apartments in 59 buildings.
This year’s budget is $2.8 million for slab and ceiling repairs for approximately 50 units.
Estimated 2017 repairs include water infiltration repairs in 40 buildings, ten full roof replacements, ceiling and slab repairs in 60 apartments, ongoing leak investigations and FISP repairs.
Management chose contractors APA Restoration for eight buildings, Cercone Exterior Restoration for four buildings and Skyline Restoration for nine buildings.
Sepulveda noted PSC agreed to provide financial documents on various issues including the bidding process and selection of contractors to deduce if management used the most cost effective measures.
“We have an accountant who has been reviewing the information to see if there are any problematic issues financially,” said the assemblyman. “We haven’t uncovered anything yet and we hope that we don’t. We intend to remain vigilant throughout this process.”
Sepulveda said Judge Elizabeth Taylor will preside over a follow-up court hearing this September in Bronx Supreme Court.