SURFSIDE, Fla.—The president of the Champlain South Towers condo association told residents in April their building was in desperate disrepair and urged them to pay the $15 million in assessments needed to fix structural problems, in a letter reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.
The condo building collapsed into a pile of rubble Thursday, leaving at least 11 people dead and 150 unaccounted for, officials said. On Monday, rescue workers tunneled into the debris left by the fallen building, searching for survivors, for the fifth day.
The condo board president, Jean Wodnicki wrote that the concrete damage to the building would “multiply exponentially over the years, and indeed the observable damage such as in the garage has gotten significantly worse over the years.”
The purpose of the letter, dated April 9, 2021, was to explain to residents the worthiness of the construction projects for the 40-year-old building ahead of the following week’s meeting about a proposed special assessment of $15 million to be paid by residents.
Florida buildings are required to be recertified for electrical and structural safety after 40 years, and the building had begun that process.