News

Builder claims $30G in extraordinary expenses

By Monte Sonnenberg, Simcoe Reformer

Arbent Faikovski is building a house on Factory Alley in Waterford. Faikovski told Norfolk council that an infrastructure oversight dating back to the early 1960s has added $30,000 in extraordinary costs to the project. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

Arbent Faikovski is building a house on Factory Alley in Waterford. Faikovski told Norfolk council that an infrastructure oversight dating back to the early 1960s has added $30,000 in extraordinary costs to the project. MONTE SONNENBERG / SIMCOE REFORMER

WATERFORD  - 

A local home builder wants Norfolk to get out its chequebook after an undocumented piece of infrastructure disrupted his construction plans.

Arbent Faikovski, of Kitchener-Waterloo, is building a house at 21 Factory Alley in Waterford.

Faikovski thought he had done his due diligence once he began preparing the ground for a foundation.

That’s when he came across a large, rusted drainage pipe that wasn’t recorded on title at the Norfolk land registry office.

The pipe forced Faikovski to shift the location of the house by 12 feet. Faikovski also planned to pour a foundation for a full basement. With the pipe in the way and the resulting drainage issues, he was only able to go down four feet.

To provide a sound foundation for construction, Faikovski had to replace most of the soil with gravel.

During site preparation, Faikovski had to sleep in his car on site for three weeks to monitor a pump. Without round-the-clock pumping, the site was too wet to pour a foundation.

As well, Faikovski had to stay on site to ensure the pump didn’t freeze. He also had to serve as his own security guard as the first pump he had on site was stolen.

All told, Faikovski estimates the ordeal has added $30,000 to the cost of the project. Tuesday, he told Norfolk council that the county is responsible for at least a portion of this because the storm pipe was not registered by way of an easement.

“We felt this entire process could’ve been avoided had the county registered the storm pipe on title,” Faikovski said. “Had we known about it, we wouldn’t have bought the property.”

Lee Robinson, Norfolk’s general manager of public works, told council the drainage pipe was installed in the early 1960s. Robinson will prepare a report on the situation and bring it to council this spring.

The former Waterford town council would have been responsible for installing the pipe. Waterford council disappeared with the creation of the former City of Nanticoke and the former Haldimand-Norfolk Region in 1974.

In law, new municipalities inherit the legal responsibilities of the municipalities they replace. As such, the new Norfolk County inherited the legal obligations of the municipalities that went before it.

“The pipe would’ve been there before 2000,” Mayor Charlie Luke said. “But that’s not to say someone didn’t fail to register an easement on title.”

Faikovski has received legal advice that Norfolk is responsible for the extraordinary costs he has incurred. He is prepared to take legal action but says he would prefer a negotiated settlement.

MSonnenberg@postmedia.com