After the holidays are over, residents at Yorktowne Condominiums in College Park will be forced to move out.
College Park Mayor Jack Longino and councilmembers unanimously decided to move forward on Jan. 3, with shutting down the water system at the property.
The condominiums are located in Ward 3, represented by Councilmember Tracey Wyatt.
Yorktowne’s homeowner’s association, which is managed by Marquis Management Inc., in Sharpsburg, has not paid the water bill for the property in full, for more than eight years, and owes the city about $300,000, according to Wyatt.
The management company could not be reached by the Clayton News Daily.
Wyatt said that, after the water services cease, the property will be condemned, although a date for that hasn’t been set yet.
“I will be meeting with the city attorney and council to determine what the law is,” Wyatt said. “My understanding is from a legal standpoint, that you cannot live in a dwelling that does not have running water,” he added.
Wyatt said he has been on the council for eight years, and has been following this issue closely during that time. He said he has been working with Yorktowne to try to find a solution.
“The problem existed before I even got on the council,” Wyatt said. He said the water service was scheduled to shut down in September. The mayor and council considered the holiday season for these residents, which is partly why the shut down was extended to Jan. 3.
He said he sympathizes for the people who live there. “I’ve made a lot of tough decisions,” said Wyatt, “This is one of the toughest decisions I’ve had to make ... the council has had to make.”
Most recently, Wyatt said, Ronald Johnson, a homeowner at Yorktowne, came to the council and informed them of a leak in a water pipe there. Johnson proposed that Yorktowne’s HOA fix the leak problem, and College Park provide a credit for the sewer charges.
Patricia Outland, Johnson’s tenant at Yorktowne, said she is concerned about the troublesome situation. “The water is going somewhere, we just don’t know where it is going,” the tenant said.
Outland, 55, said she is unemployed, but is searching for a job. She said she has nowhere to go. She said she has lived on the property for 21 years. “My concern is for the people that live there, the senior citizens, the retired, families and those living on a fixed income,” she said.
Outland said the city, or state, should have some sort of emergency funding for situations like these. “I really would like them to save Yorktowne,” she said. “When I first moved here, it was just one of the most beautiful places to live,” Outland said. “We got to be strong in faith and keep our trust in God, because only he is able.”
The Yorktowne Condominium Association Inc., was created on April 30, 1976, according to court documents.