Winnipeg Free Press Newspaper Archives Mar 28 2015, Page 40

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Winnipeg Free Press (Newspaper) - March 28, 2015, Winnipeg, Manitoba C M Y K PAGE B3 winnipegfreepress. com CITY WINNIPEG FREE PRESS, SATURDAY, MARCH 28, 2015 B 3 2014 INFINITI Q50 Hybrid model shown Security Deposit $ 0 Lease APR * 2.9 % 2015 INFINITI QX50 Monthly Payment for 48 mos. $ 488 BIRCHWOOD INFINITI Pointe West AutoPark 50- 3965 Portage Ave. Telephone: 204- 261- 3390 .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. Lease offer available on new QX50 ( E6SG75 AA00) model only. 2.9% Lease APR for a 48- month term. $ 488 Monthly payments with $ 0 down payment or equivalent trade, $ 86 PPSA, $ 0 security deposit. First monthly payment due at lease inception. Total lease obligation is $ 23,418. 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N Churchill’s Dining Room EasterBrunch in the beautiful 331 Smith Street • Winnipeg, MB, R3B 2G9 SUNDAY APRIL 5, 2015 10: 00 AM .. 2: 00 PM Adults 20.95 * Seniors 17.95 * Children ( 10 and under) 9.95 * For reservations call 204- 594- 1702 Ad www. themarlborough. ca 10% off Mothers Day brunch with the purchase of Easter brunch * plus tax & gratuity Enjoy a Marvelous W EST End advocate and business owner Sal Infantino says he has no option but to launch legal action against the City of Winnipeg after its conclusion work he authorized was responsible for the collapse of his Sargent Avenue building and the city sidewalk in front of it. Infantino said the city has refused to provide him with the findings of an independent engineer’s assessment of the cause of the damage to his building at 543 Sargent Ave., adding the reasons provided to the Free Press make no sense to him. “ I’ve got to sue them,” Infantino said, adding the evidence to support his claim will be demonstrated as he prepares the historic building for demolition. “ There’s my story, their story and the truth of what happened,” he said. “ I know what I see and what I found down there.” Infantino said his architect calculated there is a 200- square- metre cavern underneath the sidewalk in front his 110- year- old building. “ Do you understand what I’m saying? ( The cavern) is massive,” he said. “ All that ground that’s not underneath the sidewalk had nothing to do ( with the collapse), that’s what they’re saying,” Infantino said. “ Isn’t that crazy?” Infantino’s problems with the century- old building arose, ironically, when he was months away from inviting new tenants into the building. He had gutted the block- long structure, known as the Hood Block, and was in the process of redeveloping it into retail on the main floor and lowincome rental units on the second floor. But in July, the building’s front wall and foundation collapsed. Infantino said the collapse was triggered by the collapse of the sidewalk, which was caused by a massive underground sinkhole that was created by a leaking storm drain. However, city officials said Thursday an independent engineer’s report shows the reverse is true — the wall and foundation collapsed, which caused the collapse of the sidewalk. The city said it was excavation work in the building’s basement, along with poor drainage from the property, that caused the collapse. “ Our finding concluded that the excavation work in the basement related to renovations, along with poor private drainage, were the direct cause of the building failure,” a civic spokeswoman told the Free Press in an email. “ The building failure also led to a collapse of the neighbouring city sidewalk.” The spokeswoman said the engineer’s report concluded the building’s excavation work had been carried out in an improper manner, which triggered the collapse of the foundation, the wall and then the sidewalk. The spokeswoman said Infantino’s legal counsel was provided with a copy of a video shot by divers from inside the city storm drain and a copy of the engineer’s findings, to support the city’s decision to deny his claim for compensation. Infantino said the video was worthless, adding the city refused to give him a copy of the engineer’s report. “ They provided me a video of a dark sewer, which showed nothing, and a letter that came with it saying ‘ We are not sharing our findings with you,’ ” Infantino said. “ They are not sharing their findings with us.” Infantino said the city’s independent engineer must have ignored the extensive structural support system that had been put in place in the building’s basement prior to the excavation starting. The city had previously stated the collapse was triggered by an extensive amount of rainfall last summer pooling under the front sidewalk. “ Do I throw good money after bad?” Infantino said of his thinking behind suing the city. “ They’ve got me over a barrel here, and they’re pushing this story of me digging out the basement.” City officials ruled in November the building was structurally unsound and ordered him to either repair it or demolish it. Infantino appealed that order but lost and recently agreed to demolition. Infantino said he’s invested more than $ 1 million into the property since he bought it in 2009 and demolition will add another $ 50,000 to the tab. He was hoping the city would accept responsibility for the collapse and share the demolition costs. aldo. santin@ freepress. mb. ca City’s response to claim Excerpt of the City of Winnipeg’s most recent response to the collapse of a 110- year- old Sargent Avenue building: ‘ I’ve got to sue them,’ property owner says “ On July 14, 2014, a claim was submitted in person to the City of Winnipeg Claims Division by Mr. Sal Infantino. The claim alleged that the collapse of a city sidewalk caused his building at 543 Sargent to fail. A claim was opened and a thorough investigation was commenced... “ Professional opinions were sought from experts and as a result, our finding concluded that the excavation work in the basement related to renovations, along with poor private drainage, were the direct cause of the building failure. The building failure also led to a collapse of the neighbouring city sidewalk. “ The independent professional engineering report states: ‘ The wall failed as a result of a bearing failure of the footing brought on by soil removal adjacent to the footing coupled with saturated conditions which weakened the bearing capacity of the soil. The lack of a basement floor slab or any other means of laterally restraining the base of the wall further contributed to the destabilization of the wall rendering it vulnerable to damage. It appears that as the wall settled and displaced inward, the soil on the exterior also sloughed inward resulting in settlement and damage to the sidewalk.’ “ The results of the professional engineering report, as well as video taken by professional divers of the storm drain at this location, have been provided to Mr. Infantino’s legal counsel. On the basis of the conclusions drawn from several professional reports, the City denied the claim. Mr. Infantino may, along with his legal counsel, appeal the City’s decision in a court of law.” City denies responsibility for building’s collapse By Aldo Santin WAYNE GLOWACKI / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS FILES Sal Infantino stands next to the damaged Hood Block at 543 Sargent Ave. B_ 03_ Mar- 28- 15_ FP_ 01. indd B3 3/ 27/ 15 6: 31: 53 PM

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