Multiple bids have been solicited during the past two months from several contractors to construct a "toe berm" as designed by AGEC. Costs are somewhat higher than originally projected but it appears that there will be sufficient funds if all property owners, including the commercial property owners who have agreed to participate, pay the pro-rata share. A meeting is now scheduled for March 1, 2012 with the City attorney, representatives of each participating property and attorneys to finalize the cost sharing agreement, collect the necessary funds and deposit to a trust account, and work out any other issues. We are still waiting for HUD to sign a consent/release form to allow the demolition of the condo unit they own in building L, but even if the consent is delayed we plan to continue forward with the demolition of the hotel and the construction of the berm. All other required consents appear to be signed. No work will begin until all funds are deposited by the participating parties (Garden South Condos, Knights Inn Hotel, Dairy Queen (EDG Group), and Claim Jumper) so that we have the assurance of being able to pay the contractors and geotech engineers. If money is funded this month, construction can be expected to start within a week or two.
This project is the least expensive ($250K) of the possible remedies to attempt to halt the landslide and preserve property. The engineer's math estimates that the berm should halt the slide with at 20% fudge factor of certainty. Ideally, a 50% safety margin is desired but to achieve that the cost would be possibly more than $3 million to stabilize both slide planes down to the 40 ft. depth. We met with two other contractors last month who specialize in stabilizing landslides across the country to obtain rough estimates. The berm is designed as a temporary solution but given the limited resources of property owners, it may be the only economically feasible solution.
Property owners are wondering how long after the berm in completed repairs can be made on the affected buildings. That will be determined after a period of monitoring the movement of the buildings to determine if in fact the berm is successful in achieving the desired result. The buildings will need to be inspected and a list of repairs will need to be made to assure that they can be made safe. If all appears to be safe and stable then it may be possible to make the buildings habitable again. The utilities will need to be reconnected and sidewalks and gangways will need to be replaced or repaired along with any other cosmetic repairs. All costs of repairs to the condos will need to be born by the homeowners of Garden South which may require additional assessments to raise the funds necessary.