INDIANAPOLIS — Two area apartment complexes are without water as of Thursday. Citizens Energy shut off their utilities following lofty, unpaid bills from the property’s ownership.
“What irritates me the most is what did they do with my money?” questioned Adam Niemiec, a tenant and disabled veteran. “I know the water company doesn’t turn your water off if you don’t pay the bill for just one or two months.”
The first location is Berkley Commons in Perry Township. The other is Capital Place on Indy’s south side. Citizens made the tough decision to cut the water off at each location. They have been speaking with building ownership, and trying to come to a solution.
“They had until this Thursday to respond with a payment,” explained Dan Considine, a spokesperson for Citizens Energy. “These are very large, outstanding bills, and we can’t continue. We were in contact with the management company yesterday as late as late afternoon and early evening. We did not receive a reply to what we had proposed for a payment arrangement and down payment. There are some other complexes as well that we haven’t notified of disconnection as well.”
Tenants are furious. Water bill payments are lumped into their rent checks. Niemiec says the company has long neglected the residents at Berkley Commons.
“I’ve got mouse turds and urine underneath my sink and under my cabinets. There’s holes in the walls that they just didn’t fix. When my air conditioning runs, I have rust and mold that run down the wall. I’ve told them about this several times,” explained Niemiec.
“In the summer, when my air conditioning went down, they said it’s not an emergency, so they don’t have to get to it right away. My apartment was 92 degrees for three days.”
The Marion County Health Department has now stepped in and issued a 24-hour emergency notice violation to the company.
Another tenant, Don Houser, filed an emergency petition in small claims court in Perry Township. The hearing is on Friday. He hopes it will help to get the water back on.
“I called the management company yesterday asking if I would have water. I spoke to someone in the leasing office, and they told me, ‘Yes, you will have water tomorrow,’” described Houser, “They haven’t been there all day today. It’s locked up, and the lights are shut off. If you peek in the window you can see that there are boxes on desks. It makes you wonder, are they fleeing?”
These apartment complexes are home to dozens of children. The Perry Township school district is working through their student services department to access how they can help. This may be clean clothes or food during this time.