Residents of a small apartment complex anticipatehaving their hot water and heat restored today after those services were cuttwo days ago just as the county began to record some of the lowest temperaturesof the season.
The Park West complex on Louise Street has recentlybeen part of a couple of purchasing deals that resulted in the propertychanging hands between a few owners, which officials say is partly to blame forservices being cut.
To add to residents’ stress, they were told on Oct.15 to vacate by Nov. 15 by the newest owner, Jack Bell Properties, which hasplans to renovate the property.
Officials expect services to be restored thisafternoon, but residents say they’re frustrated that there weren’t steps takento ensure their needs were met.
But Gillian Bell with Jack Bell Properties said shedidn’t learn that the electricity to the services was turned off until about 5p.m. Wednesday and, by that time, city offices were closed.
She added that she and the company are in theprocess of filling out the necessary paperwork and taking the steps to restorethe services on an emergency request from the city.
Resident Katrinca Bailey said she and her11-year-old daughter resorted to heating their water on the stove to washdishes and take hot sponge baths.
“This just adds to the stress of trying to find anew place to move to,” Bailey said. “And not just for me, but for everyone whostill lives here.”
And according to the National Weather Service, thelows this week have been between the 40s and 50s.
There are about five residents who still live atthe complex, including Bailey and her daughter and a couple of elderly anddisabled residents.
“My main concern is that we don’t have hot water orheat and I believe that’s a health code violation,” she said.
Bailey said she was also concerned about her83-year-old grandfather, Robert Dewey, who lives two doors down from her.
“He’s found a place across the way, but he needshot water and heat,” she said.
Gillian Bell said the Denton officials have beenopen to making sure the services are restored as soon as possible, but she saidthere was a conversation with residents prior to the services beinginterrupted.
“We told them that there could be some issuesduring the transition period because we were getting this property from someonewho originally foreclosed,” Bell said.
She said it can be a lengthy process gettingutility services transferred over to a new owner because the city requires thata building must be up to code before the transfer can be made.
“Our hands are tied in the situation, and I think[the residents] don’t think we’re moving fast enough, but we’re doingeverything we can to fix it,” Bell said. “I empathize with the people stillliving there and we do care about them.”
JOHN D. HARDEN can be reached at 940-566-6882 andvia Twitter at @Jdharden.