Apartment residents without water; management fails to pay bill

Residents of Arborstone Apartments received bottled water from the Ross Foundation on Aug. 15, 2017, after their water was turned off a day earlier. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Residents at an east side apartment complex are fed up after their water was shut off.

It happened at the Arborstone Apartments near 38th Street and Post Road.

According to the Marion County Health Department, the disconnection is due to an overdue bill. The health department issued an emergency order on Monday after learning residents did not have water. The health department gave Arborstone 24 hours to resolve the issue.

Residents are up in arms because they say their water bill is factored into rent. Tanika Bigbe has lived in her apartment for three years. She said she’s rarely late on rent.

“I wonder where my money is at. I pay the rent every month. I haven’t been late or nothing,” Bigbe said.

The water is running, at least for now at Bigbe’s apartment. But that wasn’t the case on Monday.

“I was going to wash up and no water came out the sink,” she said. “I called the office, nobody was there.”

But, by the  next day, the water was mysteriously back on for the entire community.

“We ain’t have no water. Apparently somebody about 3 a.m. in the morning came and cut it on illegally. You know what I’m saying,” said Tracy Brown, who lives at Arborstone.

It’s unclear who turned on the water Tuesday morning. Citizens Energy said it was not them. Residents were just relieved to have running water again.

“That’s a necessity. That’s not a want. You can want a bag of potato chips, but water, you need it,” Brown said.

Dee Ross from the Ross Foundation agrees. His organization focuses on repairing and giving back to the east side community. On Tuesday, he and several volunteers handed out water.

“That was immediate response, like, I have to do something. People are counting on me. I know people in this neighborhood personally. I have a personal relationship with different residents in this community. So, it was my obligation to make sure they’re OK,” Ross said.

The group went around the complex delivering more than 200 cases of bottled water. But, it was about so much more than water.

“The take-away is that we care. That the community, that we see you. You are not invisible in our community,” Ross said.

Brown added, “It’s a blessing. You couldn’t ask for nothing else. God may not answer every call, but he still comes around.”

By late Tuesday afternoon, Citizens Energy did turn the water back on. Arborstone has not answered our phone calls.

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