INDIANAPOLIS — Residents at two apartment complexes on the south side of Indianapolis have had their water shut off due to large unpaid bills by their property management company.
Citizens Energy on Thursday afternoon disconnected water at Berkley Commons, 8201 Madison Ave. and Capital Place Apartments, 4100 Continental Ct.
The property management company hasn't paid long overdue utility bills. The utility company said it had been in contact with the property management company Thursday, but a payment arrangement hasn't been reached.
The Marion County Public Health Department sent social workers out to help residents figure out what's next.
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Hundreds of residents now left in these unlivable conditions say it's unfair.
"Berkley still has section 8 residents so it's not quite that simple for everybody to just pick up and leave a lot of people have to wait for paperwork — and that takes months, so there's a lot of people here that are just in a really bad position," said former Berkley Commons employee and resident, Whitney Thornton.
Residents were notified last Thursday about the possible disconnect as Citizens Energy worked to reach a payment arrangement with the management company.
Gas was threatened to be shut off at Capital Place but a spokesperson for Citizens Energy says they didn't shut it off Thursday due to below-freezing temperatures.
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Unless payment is made, residents at Capital Place Apartments could have their gas turned off Friday, according to Citizens Energy spokesman Dan Considine.
Although a moratorium is in place until March 15 preventing agencies from shutting off utilities, there are exceptions. It can be shut off for Capital Place residents because it is included in their rent and is not being paid through assistance, Considine said.
Citizens Energy says shutting off residents' water isn’t something they want to do but were forced to due to outstanding high bills.
The company has crews on standby ready to turn water and gas back on if and when a payment is made.
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The Health Department issued emergency Notices of Violation today to the property owner of both properties with a recheck tomorrow. Failure to comply with the NOVs within 24 hours will result in the matter being referred to court.
Social workers have been sent to help the residents figure out what is next, the Health Department said.
Perry Township Schools, the Red Cross and Perry Township trustees have also been notified.
The school district has expressed interest in allowing displaced residents to take showers and food.
The American Red Cross is aware of the situation at Berkley Commons Apartments and the Capital Place Apartments and is in contact with the Marion County Public Health Department, the City of Indianapolis Department of Homeland Security and other agencies to understand how best we can support.
Citizens Energy sent the following statement Thursday:
Early this afternoon Citizens Energy Group crews disconnected water service at the Berkely Commons Apartments, 8201 Madison Avenue, Indianapolis and the Capital Place Apartments, 4100 Continental Ct, Indianapolis, due to non-payment of very large past due utility bills. We remain in contact with Aloft Management, the company that operates the apartment complexes, in an effort to resolve the matter. We regret the inconvenience that has been caused by the lack of action by Aloft Management. Citizens crews are prepared to reconnect service as quickly as possible should a payment and an arrangement be completed with the apartment manager. Citizens suggests residents contact their leasing office for further information. Citizens has notified the Marion County Health Department, the Perry Township Trustees, Perry Township Schools and the Indiana Red Cross in an effort to assist customers in need.
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