Edmonton

'No access will be permitted' condo board tells evacuees 5 days later

The City of Fort Saskatchewan is helping more than 50 residents evacuated from their condos last week as communication from the condo association and management company begins to trickle in.

Property manager sets up meeting with residents more than a week after evacuation

A sign reading 'keep out' has been posted on a fence while security guards monitor the entrance to the condo building at 9930 100th Ave. in Fort Saskatchewan. (Manuel Carrillos/CBC)

The City of Fort Saskatchewan is helping more than 50 residents evacuated from their condos last week as communication from the condo association and management company begins to trickle in.

The Riverview Estates Condominium Corporation posted an update on the online portal, GeniePad, after it met with city officials and engineers in a closed-door meeting Tuesday afternoon.

"Until such time as the engineer and the city deem the building safe, no access will be permitted," the post said. 

It was the first time since being evacuated that some residents heard they can't return to their homes.

In the post, the condo board also revealed that Redco Contracting is doing an "invasive investigation" into all main floor units and Williams Engineering is analyzing the findings.

They expect a progress report by Aug. 16. 

Companies involved in building the condo complex in 2003 include Nova Construction Ltd., GMH Architects and Jacobsen Hage Engineering.

Residents were forced to leave the complex at 9930 100th Ave. on Friday morning after engineers and the city's building code inspector agreed the building wasn't stable. 

Donald Foster rents a suite on the first floor and said he hasn't heard a word from the board or the property manager. 

"Absolutely terrible, zero," he said. "KDM Management? They should have contacted me, I shouldn't have had to contact them." 
Donald Foster says he has never noticed structural problems in the two years he has lived in the condominium building. (Manuel Carrillos/CBC)

Foster has signed up for GeniePad, five days after he and his wife were given 30 minutes to pack a few essentials and leave the building. 

"I just had the information on how to register yesterday," Foster said. 

"I think they could have given us a heads up with a letter," he said. "People would have had 24 hours to get things together and it wouldn't have been as stressful."

The condo board, through KDM Management Ltd., emailed a news release on Wednesday, a full day after CBC News Edmonton requested an interview from both parties. 

'My heart goes out to them'

City officials helped evacuate the building on Friday and continue to guide the condo board in dealing with the situation, Fort Saskatchewan Mayor Gale Katchur said in a phone interview Wednesday.  

"Our staff will continue to work with the condo association to make sure they do have good — or better — communication," Katchur said. "But at the end of the day, it is the condo association's responsibility to get that communication to them." 

Katchur said she advised two residents who reached out to her directly to contact the Fort Saskatchewan Family & Community Support Services. 

"It's a very traumatic time for anybody in their life to have something like this happen," she said. "My heart goes out to them."

Leo Urrutia, a spokesperson for the city, said support services is working with 56 registered evacuees. 

The city can provide mental health support and referrals to provincial emergency support.

The Red Cross' emergency assistance ended Tuesday, leaving dozens of people scrambling to pay for accommodation. 

Some residents have been staying with family or friends, while others, including Foster, are staying at motels. 

Foster has tenants' insurance but that doesn't kick in until the insurer has a better idea of when or if he can move back in. 

Denise Laverdiere, a renter on the second floor, said her insurance company won't help while the situation remains in limbo. 

Katchur said the city officials are expected to join a meeting for residents on Aug. 11 at the Dow Centennial Centre, organized by KDM Management.

@natashariebe

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