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More units condemned at College Park complex

By Curt Yeomans

cyeomans@news-daily.com

Clayton County Code Enforcement officers condemned 20 additional units at the Harbour Towne Apartment Complex in College Park on Monday, raising the total number condemned to 30, in the span of a week.

This time, an entire 20-unit structure, building "S" at the complex, has been deemed unfit for habitation, according to Clayton County Fire Department spokesman, Battalion Chief Landry Merkison.

On March 9, code enforcement officers condemned 10 out of 20 units in building "P," after a 3-year-old girl fell through the rotting wood in the bathroom floor of one apartment.

Merkison said Tuesday that roughly half of the units in building "S" were occupied, meaning residents of approximately 15 units at the complex have been displaced by the condemnations in both buildings.

"The units [in building 'S'] were condemned for the same reasons as the other units," Merkison said. "The building had major structural problems, with rot and water damage, that made it unsafe."

Merkison said code enforcement officers were out at the complex again on Tuesday, and have now inspected half of the 11 buildings in the complex. He added that code enforcement officers will be back at the complex today, and each day for the rest of the week.

In the case of building "S," Merkison said the water damage was caused by water entering the building through a leaky roof, and through the rotting wood in the building's structure.

"There's the potential the building could collapse, but are we saying that if the wind blows hard enough, it will knock the structure over?" Merkison said. "Probably not."

While units in two buildings have been condemned, Merkison said many of the units already inspected actually had only minor problems, including missing tiles, or small amounts of water damage.

"They're just minor, cosmetic things that can be taken care of by building maintenance," he said.

Property Owner Robert Monday, and Operations Manager Robert Prichard, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday. On Monday, Prichard released a written statement, saying residents from the condemned units in building "P," who were in good-standing with complex management and wanted to be relocated within the complex, had been moved to other units.