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Gas Repairs Continue At North Austin Apartment Complex
As the temperature drops, dozens of residents at the Austin Commons apartments are still without gas.
"Still no heat, still no gas," said resident Karlee Greenway, her mom, and her 5-year-old son. “Last night I had to use four blankets just to keep him warm."
"We've been on site daily to check the progress," said Melissa Martinez, Division Manager for the City of Austin’s Code Compliance department. Martinez said 11 of 26 buildings had their gas turned on as of Monday morning and defended the pace.
"All indications are that this is moving along quite well for the scope of what they started with, so we're quite pleased," she said, later adding, "Versus some of the situations we've had in the past where property management was unresponsive and things were much slower."
Residents got a letter Sunday evening saying that starting Monday morning, management will give out one space heater per unit, which residents will give back once the gas is turned back on. Those who bought their own can get a $50 rent credit.
One common complaint has been the sanitary conditions in the portable showers. "The lights weren't working, it smelled horrible in there even though they had cleaned it," said Greenway.
"We haven't receive any complaints on the showers," responded Martinez.
Greenway and other residents we spoke with were also concerned about their kids walking in the cold between the showers and their apartments.
“It's not the best situation,” said Martinez. “But it does allow everyone to stay in their homes, and I think for now it looks good."
When asked if there was any risk of residents having to leave their homes, Martinez replied, “We don't have any indication of that at this point.”
Still, resident Michael Lewis thinks the progress should move faster.
"If they would just get more crews out here and get this done quicker," said Lewis.
Management at the apartment complex front office early Monday afternoon declined to comment.
Martinez says anyone with concerns with the area they live in can call 3-1-1 to report it anonymously.
By Adam Bennett