Tenants still without heat in Oakwood Gardens in Mount Vernon

MOUNT VERNON - Residents at the Oakwood Gardens at 630 East Lincoln Ave. in Mount Vernon continued to be without heat Friday evening. They say when the superintendent tried to start up the heat on Wednesday, a pipe burst, flooding several apartments.

A representative of the apartment complex was in court Friday to answer to a judge about why tenants have had no heat or hot water for days.

During the hearing on a complaint filed by the city of Mount Vernon, City Court Judge Helen Blackwood called the conditions "unacceptable" and a violation of city regulations.

Ludger Mednere, a representative of Oakwood Gardens, promised the judge to have around 100 space heaters installed right away with the goal of having heat and hot water restored by 7 p.m. Friday. Water was restored by the evening.

Cheryl Bolden, one of the hundreds of people suffering the frigid conditions, says the landlord is offering up just a Band-Aid and that major repairs are needed. "I've lived in this facility for 19 years and each year, it has progressively gotten worse," says Bolden.

The landlord could face thousands of dollars in fines if the situation is not fixed by Monday. Assistant City Corporation Counsel Brian Johnson says if that doesn't happen, the case will be back in court Monday morning. "We're going to have somebody out there to confirm that the work is being done and that's the best we can hope for at this time," says Johnson.

If the repairs are not made, city officials are looking at other options, including the possibility of relocating tenants until everything is fixed. 

For extended interviews on the building, watch the clip to the left or click News 12 Extra on Optimum TV channel 612. 

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