Woes with builders an ongoing concern

Woes with builders
an ongoing concern

Perhaps a bit of public embarrassment and a push from Jackson Township officials are all that were needed to get a builder back to work at the Tall Timbers development. Residents of the 74-home development off Hyson Road are finally beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Residents had been attempting, unsuccessfully, to have Benjamin Kirsch, who built their homes, address concerns including a faulty water drainage system, grading problems, the absence of shade trees and numerous other complaints.

This week Michael Kelly, president of the Tall Timbers homeowners association, told the Tri-Town News that Kirsch has finally begun addressing at least the issues that are covered by a performance bond being held by the township.

That is a bit of good news in what sometimes seems to be a sea of bad news when it comes to coverage of homeowners and the problems they have with the individuals or firms who build their homes.

It’s not like we have to look very hard to find these stories. Sometimes it seems that every homeowner has a tale of woe to tell. The stories that do make the news tend to involve more than one homeowner with problems in their homes, or with the public portions of the development.

From what we can tell in the Tall Timbers affair, a letter written by Township Attorney Kevin Starkey to the bonding company provided the spark that was needed to get Kirsch back to work. In effect, township officials were threatening to start dipping into a $500,000 bond the builder had put up in order to complete whatever work had been left undone at the development site.

The action by municipal officials seems to have done some good.

Their work, however, is not done.

Within the past two weeks, residents of another development, Forest Estates, approached the Township Committee to complain about problems with the homes and conditions in their development.

Catherine Sedano told members of the governing body that she and her neighbors had come to voice their concerns over work they said was left undone by their builder, MKM of Jackson, L.L.C.

Unpaved roads is the largest problem that appears to apply to all the residents of the 13-home development. Other concerns include cracked curbs, shade trees that were never planted, and landscaping around a detention basin.

One might not blame municipal officials if they got tired of hearing these complaints, but this is exactly why they have been elected to office: To do what it takes to help residents. And those residents will remember the help they receive.

Mayor Joseph Grisanti said the township administrator would look into the Forest Estates matter and he said the committee would continue to monitor the situation.

Greg Valesi, of CME Associates and the township engineer’s office, said if MKM does not comply with the directive it has been given to address the situation at Forest Estates it will be necessary to draw down on the firm’s performance bond.

Here’s hoping another builder gets the message and starts addressing the problems that some Jackson residents are living with on a daily basis.