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As reported by CBC News, The city needs to take a bigger role of the claims process when homes are damaged by city construction projects, says Coun. Mike Nickel.
“What I’m hearing from constituents is that as soon as a claim is put against the city, the city seems to be washing their hands of it, saying [the residents] have to go to court and sue the sub-contractor,” said Nickel.
When it comes to city projects, the city has to take some responsibility, he said.
“Saying to someone who’s got a cracked foundation from a drainage project, ‘Suck it up buttercup, it’s not our problem’ when it is a city project, something seems very wrong here,” he said.
“We’re supposed to be watching this stuff so I put these inquiries forward saying we can’t wash our hands and walk away,” said Nickel.
Mill Woods resident Willy Jabs said he feels betrayed by the city after his home was damaged last summer when a crew contracted by the city was replacing the drainage pipe on the street in front of his house at 43rd Avenue and 89th Street.
Once the new pipe was in, heavy machinery was used to pack the earth, he said.
“The walls in our house shook, dishes in our cupboards shook,” he said Thursday. “The vibrations shook our whole neighbourhood.”
During dinner, a few days later, he and his wife heard an odd sound coming from the sun room.
“We saw our patio door shatter before our eyes,” Jabs said. “It just crackled to pieces no bigger than a half inch, and just shattered.”
They looked around their home and noticed new cracks on the dining room ceiling.
Jabs said he wasn’t too concerned at first since an engineering company, hired by the city, had come into their home before the construction work began and spent two hours inspecting the home and taking pictures.
They filed a claim with the city, which was rejected.