Owner abandons tenants at Plymouth apartment complex

 PLYMOUTH, Ind. – The Park Jefferson Apartment complex is more than just an eye sore on the west side of the city, people who live there and in the surrounding area said it’s trouble.

“I got kids here; I mean I pay rent,” Shayne Eddington said, “This should be some jail time for somebody.” Eddington, his wife, their two kids and his elderly father have lived in one of the apartments there for more than five years. At first, Eddington said the apartments were okay but now, “They’re all vandalized, falling apart.”

The owner Park Jefferson abandoned the property without giving any of the tenants any notice. “They recently came to shut all of our water off which is illegal because the water is included in the rent.” Eddington said he has paid the rent, $680.00 every month and now stuck in an apartment without water he has to spend even more money. “We have to go and buy water from Wal-Mart get those big jugs just to get by.”

The trash removal service was also canceled, because the owner did not pay the city the dumpsters were removed but people continued to dump their garbage out there.

Most of the other tenant moved out but that does not mean the apartments there are empty, Eddington said, “There’s been kids and people living in there and partying in them and stuff.” Most are the apartments were left unlocked, thieves and squatters walk in and out of units as they please.

Some of the apartments have been stripped clean, refrigerators, dishwashers, and wiring all gone while others are littered with old TVs and soiled furniture. Police have increased patrols out there but Eddington said it’s just not safe.

Two police officers drove through the complex Monday afternoon, one of the patrolmen got called out there to close some of the apartment doors for the second time that day.

“This is, this is atrocious,” Mayor Mark Senter said when he met ABC-57 News at the complex for an interview. “We don’t need this in our city; we need to make some changes,” Senter said.

The Mayor said he’s ready to take on the owner of Park Jefferson, “It’s a matter of the city stepping up and taking a stand against some of these people that are causing problems.” Senter said the apartment complex is just one of the problem areas on his list, “It’s just bad, I mean this is just one blithe in the city of Plymouth we need to work on.”

Senter said he has started try to make contact with several business and building owners in the city who need to make some improvements, it’s part of a new initiative to improve Plymouth, “Operation Bright Spot.”

The mayor said the owner of the apartment complex has 60 days to meet with him to decide to either fix up the property or knock it down. Senter said he’s tried to contact the owner of Park Jefferson but so far has not heard back, like Eddington the mayor said he’s being ignored.

“It’s been kind of tough to make it like this,” Eddington said, “We’we've been trying to find another place but at the moment there is just nothing and no one has done anything.”

If the owner of the Park Jefferson does not get back to the mayor, Senter said he’s ready to bring in the Marshall County Health Department and the city’s code enforcement to condemn the building. Senter said the process will take some time but the city will step up to make these improvements.

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