glass house-Tremont West Development Corp-throwing stones?

Submitted by Jeff Buster on Fri, 12/26/2008 - 15:47.

tremont west development corp electrical

After reading one of Henry Senyak's September 2,  2008 post on Tremonter it appears, from the article written by Chuck Hoven, that the Tremont West Development Corporation had paid staff members canvas the Tremont neighborhood and develop a list of structures which the staff members claimed had building code violations..

This list of structures was then passed on to Mr. O’Leary at the City of Cleveland. 

So I thought I would take a look at the building where the Tremont West Development Corp has its main office and see how that structure faired in terms of the Ohio and Cleveland building and electrical codes.

Any Ohio State licensed electricians in the RealNEO audience? 

Does this installation conform with Fire Safety regulations?

 The photo above shows one overhead electrical feed from the street pole attaches to the side of the structure.   From that attachment point the feed runs forward and backward along the outside of the building - not in a metal conduit - and then is split to enter into 5 individual weatherheads.   From those 5 weatherheads the electrical lines feed 9 separate meters.  It did not appear from my public sidewalk view that there were any exterior disconnects on any of the meter feeds.  

I’ll post a few other code-type photos soon...in the meantime though, you might want to check out the siding...

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tremont-west-development-co.jpg80.24 KB
2007-237029247-0371ed82-9.pdf1.05 MB
TWDC response to Jerleen Justus 001.pdf826.87 KB
TWDC Jerleen Justus request 001(2).pdf211.74 KB
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you're killing me!

I have *a list* of addresses I could provide you, were you feeling inclined to extend your search for violations further....! I mean we can't have substandard housing in Cleveland, now can we? 

Best contruction investigator in NEO

The difference between Jeff Buster and any other "investigator" or journalist in the region - besides Jeff being a really socially conscious, worldly, Harvard educated citizen - is that Jeff has a liftime of experience running large, complex construction projects so he actually knows what it takes to build a windmill in Lake Erie, or identify code violations on CDC properties.

Disrupt IT

By your command.

Jeff, I hold a State of Ohio Electrical License. I have put it in escrow in 2007 because I just did not want to spend the cash on insurance, bonds, city registrations, and mandatory retraining refresher courses while I am care-giving for my Mother. My State Licence is #17455. I also hold a valid certification from the State of Ohio in Fire Alarms/Detection. In actuality that definitely does not meet current NFPA Code. But most of that work had to have been done close to 50 years ago or more. I can tell you most of the structures in Tremont do not meet current 2008 NFPA Code for Services and multiple services. (Yep just like Frank's house, I bet you can say this is a very similar situation) But at one point in time it was code, so unless the building has been rehabbed electrically what you have shown in the picture cannot be cited for just being out of date. That said you bring up several issues. The one that sticks out in my mind is the Service entrance from the street looks undersized to handle the load of all the taps. It looks from the picture that the service conductors from the meter sockets up to the weather head connection look way undersized. That said I would question the conductors from the meters inside to the service protection (fuse/breaker box). One big thing that sticks out I bet the whole system is not properly grounded to protect against a lightning strike or surge (can you say camera NVR, and all the computer equipment can go poof!) Now, all that said they converted several spaces into one, but I bet they currently using several meters, still is legally ok. But some was residential, now its commercial and past the late 90's a commercial site when upgraded needed to have service disconnects on the exterior of the building so the fire department could cut the power off outside. Again if this was upgraded prior to that you would not need this. It is my understanding extensive rehabbing was done upstairs for several residential apartments. I can tell you our building only had a 60 amp service for a storefront and two apartments. In 1998 a couple punks ripped the meter socket down. CEI came out Installed a new 200 amp service and upgraded the meter encasements, and all the service conductors were sized at 300 amp, and each meter feed was upgraded for 100 amp each. NFPA updates the code every three years. We we lucky in the matter because CEI had to restore service, we had to make sure it was to code in 1998. I also can tell you earlier this year the tavern across the street the Tremont Tap House added some new coolers, and a new condenser for a air conditioner to one of the existing service entrances. One day in early summer the undersized wires in the conduit that feed the meter to the weather head melted together and blew the main inside. This addition was about 50-60 amps, the wires ended up being the fuses. After just a cursory review I told Chris the owner that he needed to upgrade that specific service to 200 amp. They had contractors out doing exactly what I said needed to be done. Do I think this will happen at TWDC's offices, I doubt it, but after seeing your detailed picture I would recommend this is upgraded, because it is my professional opinion it is now significantly undersized for the current loads. To clear something up, I hold these licence's but my forte was communication, data, fiber, etc. Not electrical, I actually hate doing electrical. I have about 30 years experience in installing communications systems, and large PBX systems. But the money was made on the installation of the structured cable installations especially when the Cities requested that low voltage installers hold a Electrical licence.

NO VALIDATION FOR FINISHED PROJECTS

Jeff, that is priceless.  I took a few pics myself - that I plan of posting shortly.  You;ll get the idea.  It's about the list of finished project that was provided  by Development Director Samuel Catania (with no addresses) at the last housing committee - (the addresses were  not provided due to "PRIVACY ISSUES" - well as you will see -most of the cute little fences are in from of vacant lots and ownership is questionable?  Also, the date the fences were installed is also questionable.

GET THE ADDRESSES TO CONFIRM WORK WAS DONE

I haven't had any luck finding a link, but I remember reading about a corruption investigation - probably in the PD - about a year ago....    Public funds austensibly for the interior renovation of  (was it HUD houses?) were being paid to contractors and the work was not done. 

 I recall the story was about a public minded woman who went to every address on the rehab list - to find at some addresses  there wasn't even a house...

Maybe this wasn't a Cleveland story but elsewhere.   

Here is a link to HUD's Inspector Generals report on types of fraud pulled on HUD

Perhaps a good start would be a Freedom of Information request to TWDC asking for the costs, addresses of work, and percent of completion and contractors involved and payments to those contractors.  

Here is a sample FOI -   If you do an FOI , please put a copy of your request up here on realneo.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29008999@N05/

cHECK OUT these photos I took a few days ago - the list was passed out at the last housing committee meeting on 12-11-08 saying the landscaping and fencing, and driveways was finished - no addresses were provided.

SEE, THERE IS AN ELECTRICIAN ON REALNEO!

Henry et al, the interchanges in this thread are a perfect example of how the internet and drupal can very effectively harness social capital. With you, and others in Tremont and elsewhere, we can develop a team effort in reviewing the fairness and effectiveness of how our public monies are spent. 

Here is a link to the TWDC site and work done at their 2406 Professor Street office in 2006

Quotes:

---------------------------------

Economic Development:
2406 Professor - There is a $35,000 cost overrun due to unexpected construction costs and repairs. NPI has offered TWDC a $35,000 grant to cover these costs because of the affordable housing units and creation of community space that 2406 provides. The City is providing us with a $10,000 loan provided we design a distinctive storefront and utilize green technology such as solar panels. Two apartments have been completed and one is leased. Storefront demolition is complete.

 

Finance:
TWDC's loan to 2406 Professor LLC will be reflected in the February financials. NPI will pay for a continuing education seminar to help our directors interpret financial reports and related information.

------------------------------------------

Wouldn't the new construction of the 3 "affordable housing units" trigger an upgrade to the present electrical code?  Particularly if the building was converted from commercial to residential. 

Does the City of Cleveland permit site show what permits were issued in 2006 for the re-hab?   (thanks for the link to that site, I will experiment with it soon) ,

How about the "green" technology - the solar panels - I didn't see any on the TWDC building.

Who is the beneficial owner of 2406 Professor LLC? (ie the owner of the property)

 

are you kidding me???

why the hell dont they publicize this site?

when I had to pull a permit for a backline fence, it was one of the worst days of the year - going downtown and pulling a permit was harder than having a root canal.... and far more annoying - I thought I'd entered some weird time and space warp and I was in some strangeassed psycho drama where everything I did or said was wrong. I quickly learned to say NOTHING and hope and pray they'd just give me the stupid paper to hang in my window...

i swore i'd never pull a permit again... 

no one ever told me about a website...... god. 

Tremont West Development Corp IRS 990 for 2007

This link will bring up the 2007 IRS 990 form for TWDC.  A few friends of mine brought this IRS form to my attention.   The finances of the TWDC are a public record.   

One of the facts that the IRS 990 form makes clear is that the TWDC received over a half million dollars of federal and other public money.  

That again raises the question: why does the Board believe that their membership list is "private".  

 I have asked a board member this question (twice) by email and am awaiting a response.    If the membership list has been kept secret - how is any one candidate able to solicit the votes of any one member (by mailing out info to the voter)?   

How is a candidate expected to convince any member to vote one way or another.   How can a candidate circulate/advertize their "platform".

Perhaps a member of TWDC can move - before the voting begins - to postpone the vote until the Board provides a public list of the membership and their addresses. 

 

 

crapicola, batman...

nice work!

if they're not teaching you this, they should be

I thought I heard that you were in the Levin College Urban Studies Program or some such... learning urban (urbane?) planning. Is that right dbra?

CDC's as you pointed out are a big part of urban planning. The clients of many a planner are Community Development Corporations. Ya'll ought to know a bit about their finances - Guidestar is delayed just as IRS reporting is, but it does offer a history - that is if you can make heads or tails of an IRS 990.

I once asked a friend (who was extolling the painful process of getting a lot in the city of Cleveland) what the CDC had to do with it. He said, the prime reason for having a cdc is they assemble land. So the ward top dog (councilman) will tell you that the lot is available and then the CDC will say no it isn't. That is apparently that because they "have plans for it".

So for future reference: Want to know about a nonprofit's finances? Go to Guidestar and search them. Even without a premium membership, you can see their IRS for 990. Yes, even the Cleveland Foundation and the Cleveland Orchestra are there.

yes... apparently a master's degree...

no. unfortunately they dont teach you to question the CDCs, let alone how to do it. They teach you different flavors of koolaid, like green. Green is a very big flavor of koolaid. 

I've taken PDD607: Intro to Urban Planning; PDD 660 Neighborhood Planning; PDD 609: Planning Law and gotten all A's.... and some other courses that only have to do with statistics and economics (general) - no mentions... maybe they'll cover it in PDD 623 Urban Development Finance... I'm working on the prerequisites for that now.

but no - we are taught the CDCs and the Foundations are the answer. the only answer. heavenly even.... 

lets put it this way - if they had a masters program in either journalism or art, I would not be studying urban planning... 

Ohio Non-Profit law

1702.15 Corporation to keep books and records of account and minutes of proceedings.

Each corporation shall keep correct and complete books and records of account, together with minutes of the proceedings of its incorporators, members, directors, and committees of the directors or members. Subject to limitations prescribed in the articles or the regulations upon the right of members of a corporation to examine the books and records, all books and records of a corporation, including the membership records prescribed by section 1702.13 of the Revised Code, may be examined by any member or director or the agent or attorney of either, for any reasonable and proper purpose and at any reasonable time.

Effective Date: 04-10-2001

http://codes.ohio.gov/orc/1702

Have a member make a request in writing, their by-laws do not restrict this from happening.

I believe they have a right to refuse making a copy, but they cannot stop this from happening. This is going to be coming down the train tracks next week.

Picture is worth ...

That photo is worth more than a thousand words... and going forward to document what may now get rapidly repaired.

Siding's not so hot, but looks like they put in new windows - did they get grant money for that while real hazards went unaddressed? Is that a water line that weatherhead no. 2 crosses over? Shocking, really.

AND LET'S NOT FORGET THAT

AND LET'S NOT FORGET THAT GOOD OLD TWDC HAS PAPERED UP AS 2406 PROFESSOR, LLC AND PURCHASES PROPERTY AS SUCH - I'M WONDERING A BIT IF THEY CROSS OVER AND MAYBE VIOLATE THEIR NON-PROFIT STATUS?  WE REALLY DO NEED THE GOOD MAN IN BLACK IN HERE - THAT IS WHERE THE MONEY IS CONFUSING - TWDC OWNS 2406 PROFESSOR LLC - SO THE LOANS AND THE NPI GRANTS ALL MAKE A TANGLED WEB - SOMEBODY NEEDS TO PUT OLD RUDOLPH IN CHARGE - GIVE HIM A WHIP  -  TRESS UP THAT LONG LEGGED OLD GRINCH - MAKE THE PUNY ELF TALK - FIND THE BAG FULL OF LOOT - AND THEN GIVE EM ALL A GO DIRECTLY TO JAIL CARD.

CondemNATION

  Tremont is all balloon frame construction, is it not?

A construction standard that has proven to be a major fire hazard, which puts us all under demolition watch--if we only knew the defining criteria for condemnation/demolition?  

The Plain Dealer needs to request an accounting of all the demolitions that have taken place in 2006-2008 within the City of Cleveland, plot the locations on a map, list the contractors who performed the demolitions, and liens applied--and demolitions scheduled for 2009.

I think that it would help us all see the big picture.

 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/

Lets not forget Abe Bruckman's connection

Remember when Abe Bruckman's Mack Ct. property in Brooklyn Center was sold to CMHA. Did he abuse his power while working or sitting on boards of the local CDC's?

 http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2008/10/cmha_paid_top_dollar_for_house.html

http://tremonter.com/node/1761#comment-62472

Plain Dealer are you out there?

How many demolitions have been strategically planned along commercial corridors?

The Plain Dealer needs to request an accounting of all the demolitions that have taken place in 2006-2008 within the City of Cleveland, plot the locations on a map, list the contractors who performed the demolitions, and liens applied--and demolitions scheduled for 2009

I am still waiting for an explanation on 2000 Denison...the demolition that benefited the developer NRP...How many other developers are waiting in the wings...by the way, Tremont...the mysterious demo on Riverside Ave. in Brooklyn Centre...the "new" owner of the "opps" demolition? Charles Pigoni...ring a bell?

Why is the PeeD our servant?

Lmcs =

we need to do this work - the pd is defunct

Record of Note

  Much as we may discount the Plain Dealer, it is still the record of note.  We can be accused of negativity, gossip and innuendo.  If the PD acknowledges a pattern it is more credible than any blog.  I will continue to call and email and call again.  I am also drafting my FOIR request to the City of Cleveland's Building department.  Sadly, I know good folks in that department and I wish I did not.

GOOD MORNING

HAVE A GREAT DAY

Cleveland is similar to Chicago political machine

Here are two links.  Please take the time to review these stories and threads. Then come to your own conclusions if their is a similarity in Cleveland.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/specials/chi-zoning-storygallery,0,6709336.storygallery

http://archives.chicagotribune.com/2008/aug/06/local/chi-troutman-plea-webaug07

Comments

  BTW, if anyone is trying to retrace their thoughts online here--

Use http://www.realneo.org/comments or search Google using the keyword typed in as:  "keyword  site:realneo.org."   All tips on navigating are appreciated here.

 

PeeD?

They wouldn't pick up and run with Tom Bell's $5m lawsuit against the City for violating his due process... why????... that's BIG news... I'd think front page... at least the bottom half after the fold???

I know my neighbors were lighting up the peeD phone lines to break a story...  nothing.

 Maybe we need a news feed that is broader in scope and not tied to the local biz ops???

Deafening silence

Can you explain the Tom Bell lawsuit? I still can't fathom why Frank Giglio's case is not a blatant taking ripe for a lawsuit.

Jerleen--I joined the yahoo group and I will try and stay on top of one more thing, but I also hope you continue to post significant happenings here. We need posts from all over NEO. The level of civic engagement in Tremont is exemplary.

I visited the Cudell/Lakewood border yesterday and was appalled to see how senseless commmercial development has gutted the once bustling Clifton streetscape. Giant Eagle closed and It's it Deli is closing, too. West 117th is just Taco Bell, KFC and more strip development culiminating in the Target/Giant Eagle complex at the intersection of I-90 and West 117th.

tHANK YOU AND WELCOME -

tHANK YOU AND WELCOME - PLEASE DON'T FORGET TO POST AND START A DISCUSSION - SHARE PHOTOS -IDEAS AND LETS HAVE SOME FUN.  IT'S NOT ALL ABOUT THE SAD OR SERIOUS STUFF EVEN THOUGH WE MUST TAKE CARE OF TOP PRIORTIES FIRST.   I'LL BE LOOKING FORWARD TO YOUR THREADS.

AGAIN THANK YOU.

JERLEEN

He's suing for compensatory

He's suing for compensatory and punitive damages for things like violating due process and interior violations when no inspector was inside the property.

Tom's attorney has offered a discounted retainer rate for anyone who is victim of the same housing issues and has received similar treatment in Tremont.

Contact Tom Bell at the Flying Monkey for contact information.  

I'm wondering how this plays

I'm wondering how this plays out with the parking lot TWDC put out $10k for that UGP and the Flying Monkey is supposed to share - just looks like a big mud site right now - maybe Director Samuel could answer that question since he made the motion.   That is another TremontTruth

http://www.flickr.com/photos/29008999@N05/