Utica, N.Y. - Friday was supposed to be the deadline for the last remaining residents of the Olbiston Apartments in Utica to be moved out, as the building is scheduled to be boarded up and shut down on Monday due to codes violations, but now those residents have two extra days to do so.
The city is giving those last few remaining tenants this weekend to continue moving out since they may have trouble getting into a new apartment until the first of the month, which is on Sunday.
Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri says he understands the pain and anxiety these residents are going through as some have lived there for more than two decades and he wants to give them two extra days to pack up what they need and get to a new place before the building is boarded up on Monday.
We caught up with one gentleman on Friday who was moving out of his apartment, adhering to the original deadline. He has lived at Olbiston for 22 years.
Mayor Palmieri says he understands the anxiety these residents are all going through, through no fault of their own as the owners have refused to make needed repairs to the building and now it must be shut down, "It’s heartbreaking because this has been where they have known as their home and it’s very difficult, but our responsibility is to provide the safety and well-being of our people based on the codes. And the situation at Olbiston has deteriorated to the point where as we said, the first three floors have been shut down, the water, the leakage, the potential of the electrical, the fact that the smoke detectors are not operable, we do not want to put to put these people in risk any longer."
The mayor is hoping that the remaining residents will leave by Sunday with the help of the many organizations that have been assisting all of the other residents so far. He hopes law enforcement doesn't have to get involved in their removal on Monday.