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Flint City Council discuss condemned apartment and how they accumulated exceptionally high water bill

Combined, Sunset Village Apartments and Richfield Court Apartments owe roughly $1.2 million.
Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 10:42 PM EST
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (03/03/2021) - On the agenda for Wednesday’s Finance Committee Meeting was Councilwoman, Monica Galloway’s request: to discuss the two apartment complexes that owe more than $1.2 million.

The first question Galloway asked the Flint City Treasurer, Amanda Trujillo was how these two apartment complexes had the ability to carry such a large water bill.

Galloway was referring to Sunset Village Apartments and Richfield Court Apartments, where ABC12 uncovered unlivable conditions, forcing the city to condemn both properties and requiring dozens of residents to move out.

With public safety no longer a risk, the focus shifts to the unpaid water bills owed to the city of Flint and how they even piled up to $1.2 million in the first place.

”I have not been able to turn off water since September of 2019. That started with the GM strike, and then with the 100-day moratorium, and then the pandemic,” Trujillo said.

The present moratorium preventing water shutoffs for not paying passed in the Michigan Legislature in December of 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. That moratorium is extending through the end of March.

Trujillo says most apartment complexes are still paying their water bill, but the owners of these two who live in Florida have been “delinquent.”

Galloway says the city needs to do better, protecting itself financially and safeguarding its community members.

“I just want to say to the community please speak out, and I know people have a hard time because they need somewhere for their children, but we just have to hold landlords accountable, and we will put together a better system to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other family,” Galloway said.

A spokesperson for the property has told ABC12 they plan on selling the properties, and the city says they still plan to pursue a lawsuit against them to pay that water bill.

During the meeting, City Attorney Angela Wheeler said they’re requesting a closed session with council during Monday’s meeting to provide more details.

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