‘Give me hope there's an end to all of this.’ Residents lack update on restoration plans for scorched complex
Almost two years after
Mountainview condos burned down, families tell News 12 they are still no closer
to returning to their homes.
The complex left 16
people homeless following a fire in spring 2019. Since then, reconstruction
plans have been halted due to asbestos issues.
“I’m numb. I’m numb to it
really now,” says resident Don Scheulan.
The insurance settlement
and the former contractor dying also play a part in the delay.
Families impacted by the
fire say they are emotionally and financially drained. According to residents,
their contract with the condominium still forces them to pay common charges,
with some even paying for mortgages.
Sandra Yacopino, 73, tells News 12 her hope has
diminished. “I was the eternal optimist, but eternity stopped,” says Yacopino.
News 12 reported on the
slow progress last summer, but work began offering a small
glimmer of hope. But unfortunately, that didn’t last long with the job coming
to a standstill in December.
Hoping for a date,
Scheulan believes a ballpark date would suffice, saying in part, "Give me
hope there's an end to all of this.”
For the time being, Yacopino stays in their snowbird sanctuary in Florida
while Scheulan splits his time between there and New York for family.
George Hoehmann realizes it’s a tough time for all. “This only exacerbates it.
I can't imagine in a pandemic not being in a home. Some of these people are
living in very temporary accommodations.”
To offer assistance, Clarkstown has expedited permits and inspections. However,
with 21 months already gone, Hoehmann said
he was speaking with their
attorney on Wednesday.
"It’s been a long period of time, these people need to get back into their
homes,” says Hoehmann.
The property manager says
there isn’t a timeline as to when families will be able to return.
However, they are currently in discussions with the construction company
to see if they will complete the job.
In the event they are
unable to do so, the property manager says they’ll find a new company to do the