$30,000 in unpaid water bills force residents out - WSFA.com: News Weather and Sports for Montgomery, AL.

$30,000 in unpaid water bills force residents out

Posted: Updated:
MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Most of a Memphis complex is blighted and uninhabitable, though that is not the reason everybody has been ordered out.

Rain puddles are the only water around, because the faucets are bone dry after the water was disconnected.

"Oh, if we had water we could move back in," said resident Avan Campbell.

Campbell moved into Garden Walk Apartments 20 years ago.

"It was a beautiful place. Had a pool, swimming pool. Clubhouse. Everything was nice," said Campbell.

Despite the looks of things now, he owns his condo but moved out three weeks ago in order to comply with the mandatory vacate notice.

" I'm 71-years-old, and I've invested everything in that condo over there. It was tough. It's still tough on me," he said.

Residents purchase gas and power straight from MLGW. The water is paid for through the homeowners association. But MLGW said only 20 of the 180 units are occupied, and the complex owes $30,000 in unpaid water bills.

Plus, leaks in common area plumbing accounted for most of the water use.

"The past year or so, the water's been going off for a couple days then it's back on. Off and on. And this time they didn't cut it back on," said resident Andre Lewis.

Lewis said she has not had water since early January, and makes it work with bottled water, buckets from friends, or other faucets.

"The next step is moving," said Lewis.

Campbell said he has been putting his share into the homeowners association water till, but does not know what has happened to that money.

"Show me something where the money is at. I'd be satisfied," he said. "That's my retirement. All my retirement has gone down the drain."

Residents must vacate the property by April 11. The complex has a date in environmental court on April 18.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow