The City of Utica has taken the Owners of the Olbiston Apartments to Supreme Court over codes violations they feel are a safety concern for the residents. Residents of the complex tell me they’re aware of the problems, but have had positive experiences from the management. Olbiston Resident Rick Sardina had this to say:
"The Olbiston has steady repairs. If you tell the maintenance you need something repaired, they’re there."
William Newell talked about improvements as well.
"The building has really changed over the years that I’ve been associated with it. It used to be really, really bad. Shootings, drugs, everything. People in and out all night."
There are still problems at the complex. The police were there on Thursday for an animal incident, and firefighters answered a medical call there as well. Seeing the problems on the outside of the building is easy. We did try to get some video to show what conditions are inside the building, but the management asked us to leave.
Photographs provided in from the City's report show the extent of the damage on the inside. Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri tells us a leaky roof is one of the major concerns.
"We will look at the apartments that we feel deemed unsafe, and we will condemn those apartments, and we will work with the owners at this point to make sure they have a remedy. We’ll make sure there’s solutions to the problems for the residents if they choose not to be there, we’ll find accommodations for them."
Residents like Andrea Williams aren’t interested in finding a new place to live.
"Honestly I have 3 kids upstairs and I don’t have nowhere’s to go if I did have to move. (So what would you do?) I really honestly don’t want to move. I’m comfortable in my apartment. I have no water damage, no leaking, nothing."
The Utica Fire Department is inspecting the building Thursday evening, and the Mayor tells us the City will take immediate action if necessary.