SURFSIDE, Fla. (NBC News) — Late last year, after years of delays and disputes, the Champlain Towers South Condominium Association began a desperate search for $16.2 million to fix major structural damage that was slowly threatening the Surfside high-rise — and that may have contributed to the building’s partial collapse June 24.
The obvious place to look was the building’s reserve fund — extra money socked away to cover the cost of future repairs. But the account held just $777,000, according to condo board documents — nowhere near enough to soften the blow.
The collapse, which killed at least 60 people and left 80 others missing, occurred before the condo board could collect the needed money from residents and begin repairs. The cause of the collapse is unknown, and investigators, experts and advocates are trying to determine whether the uncompleted repairs played a role, whether the board could have seen the problem coming earlier — and whether a Florida law regulating condo repairs that was repealed a decade ago could have made a difference.