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4th apartment complex owned by same property at risk of water disconnection

$1.5 million owed to Citizen's Energy
Posted at 10:59 PM, May 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-12 22:59:46-04

SPEEDWAY — Unpaid water bills are once again putting hundreds of residents in danger. This time in Speedway.

Covington Square Apartments is the fourth apartment complex at risk of having its water shut off as bills continue to go unpaid.

"It's going to have a bad impact because the kids need water," Sekinat Saliu said.

Citizens Energy says water bills aren't being paid even though residents say it's included in their rent.

"It's a surprise because we pay our bills. We need our utility water you know," Saliu said.

"Everybody expects me to pay my bills. I expect them to pay theirs," another resident said.

The fear of water being shut off is the same for hundreds of residents at Woods at Oak Crossing, Berkley Commons and Capital Place apartments whose bills aren't being paid.

Property records show these four properties are linked to the same owners — JPC Affordable Housing Foundation and Berkley Commons Indiana LLC.

Citizens Energy said the amount owed between the complexes is now $1.5 million dollars. They added they don't want to leave residents without, but they are at risk of disconnection as the price tag keeps getting higher.

In a statement, a spokesperson tells WRTV it's been in contact with a representative for the apartment owners but hasn't been able to reach a reasonable payment arrangement.

"A huge bill concerns me that they are going to be able to pay this today," a resident said. "Even if they don't shut it off today there is still going to be a point the utilities are not going to take it anymore and they are going to shut us off so that's really concerning."

The mayor's office bailed residents out at Capital Place and Berkley Commons in February for $850,000 after their water was shut off.

The city, along with Citizens Energy and the Attorney General's office filed suit.

Those cases are still pending.

Within three months, the number of apartment complexes put in this situation has doubled.

The Attorney General's office is going after the property owner's non-profit status in hopes prevent this from happening again.

The city says it doesn't want owners to bank on them stepping into the foot the bill in these situations. However, the city is continuing to work with Citizens Energy.