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HOA still recovering months after paint crime

More than $300,000 spent to repair pool, hot tub, pipes

Posted: February 19, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: February 19, 2013 2:00 a.m.

Victor Contreras, center, and Jordan Checots of Valencia Electric work Monday near an HOA pool damaged by vandals in North Valencia. (Jonathan Pobre/The Signal)

 

Vandals who hopped a North Valencia HOA pool fence last summer and dumped seven gallons of paint into the pool and hot tub, causing more than $300,000 damage, are still at large.

A $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and/or conviction of the vandals who demolished the pool at Grandview Drive and Fairview Drive, remains unclaimed seven months after they ruined a summer for neighborhood kids wanting to swim.

The good news — the only good news, according to an HOA spokesman — is that the pool is now under renovation and is expected to be open by summer.

“It’s frustrating,” said Wolfgang Costello, president of the Northbridge Homeowners Association.

“There’s been no arrest, no charge, nothing,” he told The Signal on Monday.

“But, we’ll be ready by summer.”

Last July, Between the night of July 24 and the early hours of July 25, vandals dumped seven 1-gallon cans of blue, red, green and yellow house paint into the pool and a significant amount of green paint into the hot tub.

They also tossed deck chairs into the pool.

Because the paint was pumped through the pool system, it coated and clogged the pipes and damaged two recently purchased, $25,000 boilers, Costello said during a tour of the damage a day after the vandalism.

Estimates made at the time of the crime predicted repair costs of between $300,000 and $400,000.

Pipes sitting on top of dirt near a hole in the ground that was once a pool is what visitors see when they visit the pool.

Recently, after workers ripped out the tubing and gutted the damaged pool they uncovered some unforeseen costs.

“One thing led to another,” Costello said. “Once we opened it up, everything has got to go back to code.

“And, since this was an older pool, making the (building code) changes was just a big mess.”

The cost is now at “the upper end” of $300,000, he said.

The pool has undergone other changes in light of the last year’s vandal attack.

HOA leaders decided to make the pool visible from the street.

“We removed all the bushes in the front so that cars can go by and see all way in,” Costello said.

jholt@signalscv.com

661-287-5527

On Twitter @jamesarthurholt

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