SURFSIDE (CBSMiami) – Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced on Tuesday that she is assembling a team of building experts to enhance building safety in the county.
She said she is bringing together a team of experts in areas including engineering, construction and soil analysis.READ MORE: Boys And Girls Clubs Of Broward County Launches Online High School
Cava said, “They will advise me on issues related to building construction and the chain of custody and requirements for reporting condominium issues and more so we can look into recommended charges to ensure that tragedies like this one never ever happen again.”
She said inspectors have encountered problems at roughly 40 buildings.
“There is a list of those that have issues to be addressed,” she said. “They involve mostly electrical issues, not structural.”
The mayor said, “We are taking swift action to identify any issues with the buildings that have not yet completed the 40-year recertification process. That is a priority right now. Just last night our building officer notified us of a property in Northeast Miami-Dade that has four balconies that must be closed to residents due to safety conditions.”
That is similar to one problem discovered by CBS4 on Monday while following an inspector and the chief building official to one building under review in Sunny Isles Beach, where inspections are being stepped up in the wake of what happened in Surfside.
The Miami-Dade mayor said, “We are proceeding at a pace with all the buildings to be identified where we should know in a meter of days or short weeks we will have addressed all those safety concerns.”
A county building official told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald that more than 2,000 buildings are overdue on recertification from Miami-Dade.
On Miami Beach, a city spokeswoman told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that inspectors “are swamped.” She says the city has more than 5,000 buildings and more than 500 are due for recertification.READ MORE: FDA Advisory Panel Votes To Support Pfizer's Covid-19 Vaccine For Children Ages 5-11
Some striking video surfaced on social media that was posted on Instagram by film director Billy Corben.
Corben said a concerned resident at the Maison Grande Condominium building took the video that showed exposed rebar in the concerted ceiling of the underground garage and other cracks in that ceiling. Yellow tape sealed off that section of the garage. The concerned resident reportedly said she was “scared of going home.”
Condominium owner Eddie Miester told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “My concern is that the building will go down and kill me. Our concern is the possibility that we may have to evacuate. We don’t when we would have to evacuate. I am worried. I am worried. This has been going on for three years.”
Security people at the building told D’Oench that condominium board members did not want to comment. A woman claiming to be on the condominium board said there would be “no comment.”
CBS4 reached out to a spokesperson for the city of Miami Beach to ask about a pool being built at the Maison Grande that was never finished.
In a statement, Melissa Berthier said the most recent “violation was due to work without a permit.”
The statement continued, “Since then, we have had several follow up inspections and as of today, this building has not applied for a permit to cure the violation. Please note, there are two other violations related to the elevators. While the violation was first issued in November 2020, the city was not pursuing compliance on non-life-threatening complaints due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
We use a red placard when a building violation is posted, which provides the language “unsafe structure” per the County Code. This does not necessarily mean the building is unsafe or in imminent danger.
The Maison Grande Condominium applied for a 40 Year Permit on May 13, 2021, they will have 90 days to provide an inspection report to the city.”MORE NEWS: CDC Extends Cruise Line COVID Health Rules Until Mid-January
Miester said there would be a special meeting this Thursday at the condominium building about the garage.