Mayor Dewey Bartlett said today that the management of the Public Works Department and the Tulsa Metropolitan Utility Authority have decided to defer the water cut-off at the Somerset East Apartments, located at 137th East Avenue and East 23rd Place, for two weeks. According to utility records, 61 units are occupied.
The property owner was given until Dec. 15 to make a partial payment on a $79,000 over due balance on the complex's water bill. The payments lapsed in May, but the City continued to work with the property owner to make payment arrangements until December, when the final notice was posted for the Dec. 15 cut-off. Although the property owner did not pay the bill by Wednesday's deadline, City officials determined today it was best, during this holiday season, to give the tenants more time to relocate.
City officials have contacted the Tulsa Human Response Coalition to provide information on possible resources tenants may use or agencies to contact if they need assistance in finding shelter or housing. The Coalition had already contacted the American Red Cross for bottled water and the Salvation Army regarding shelter once the water was turned off, which would in turn prompt the Tulsa Health Department to post a notice to vacate.
The public health issue of the overflowing garbage dumpster remains, however, Public Works will use its contract with American Waste, a commercial hauler, to empty the dumpsters. Public Works will assign city crews to clean up around the dumpsters were garbage has been left.
The new cut-off date is Jan. 3, 2011.
- This Christmas season has taken an abrupt turn for dozens of families who will now have to find another place to live.
Tenants at Somerset Apartments in East Tulsa received a notice Wednesday that they would have ten days to vacate the complex.
The City of Tulsa Public Works Department issued an initial cutoff in October notice stating it will discontinue water service until the owner coughs up the past due balance in excess of $42, 852.05. Having yet paid that balance, it has now increased to $70,000.
The city informed the office that the water will be cutoff Wednesday.
Tenants have already paid their rent for the month of December and are now scrambling to determine optional living arrangements.
Pro-Residential, the property's owner, has also failed to pay for trash pick-up, according to the apartment leasing office staff.