11/08/05 — Owners get 90 days to fix apartments

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Owners get 90 days to fix apartments

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on November 8, 2005 1:53 PM

A dozen tenants from the recently condemned apartment complex at 300 Randall Lane attended Goldsboro City Council Monday to share their anger and worries with councilmen.

Numerous code violations and potential health hazards have many fearing for their safety, they said, while others are just concerned about their children.

"We work hard to put a roof over our heads and our children's heads," said Charles Brown, who lives in one of the buildings. "We're very concerned about all this."

Brown and the other tenants sat quietly as the council granted property owner Mike Pate and property manager Calvin Hodgin 90 days to bring the buildings up to code.

Mayor Al King said during the council's work session that he had been assured by the two men that necessary repairs would be made if the extension were granted.

"I met with them," King said. "When I talked to Mike Pate, he said that all of you know him and know he'll get it done."

King added that Pate told him he had no knowledge of the building's problems.

After the extension was voted on, both Pate and Hodgin left the meeting. Brown stayed, and as the other tenants from Randall Lane looked on, he addressed the council during the public comment period.

"Do we have faith in him (Pate), no," Brown said. "When we found out about this, we were irate about it. Because we're ignorant to the law, we've been paying rent in a condemned building. And you gave him an extension. You're supposed to be for the people."

Councilman Chuck Allen told Brown and the other tenants that he understood their dilemma and that the council voted in favor of the extension to hold Pate and Hodgin accountable for repairing the dilapidated buildings.

"If he gets it done, you're going to have a better place to live," Allen said.

Councilman Charles Williams also offered his sentiments to the residents.

"We hope for the best for you."

At their Oct. 24 meeting, city councilmen voted to condemn the apartment buildings, because the structures failed to meet minimum housing standards set by the city and state and created an eyesore for residents of Maplewood.

Now that an extension has been granted by council, Pate must post a bond by Monday for the amount of demolition costs. Once he posts the bond, he will be granted a permit to repair the buildings and will have 90 days to bring the complex up to code.

Ed Cianfarra, Goldsboro's chief building inspector, told the council that city procedures require an inspection after 45 days, and if the buildings were not at least 50 percent repaired, demolition would be ordered.

Neither Pate nor Hodgin commented after the council meeting, and Hodgin's secretary said he was out of the office this morning and unavailable for comment.