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Petersburg issues 'Notice of Violation' after temps reach 90 degrees at apartments

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jul 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 09:15:33-04

PETERSBURG, Va. -- People who live in some Petersburg apartments are trying their best to stay cool as temperatures in some parts of the building reach 90 degrees.

This comes as central Virginia deals with a heat advisory and temperatures in the triple digits on the heat index.

The heatwave saw air conditioners unable to keep up at the Carriage House apartments, home to seniors over 62 and those with disabilities.

CBS 6 cameras found two lawn sprinklers placed underneath the chillers to try and keep cooling air coming into the building.

"Hallways right now about 80 degrees on the first floor and 90 degrees on the 5th floor," said Brad Shupp with the Petersburg Property Maintenance.

Shupp says the hallways being sacrificed for the rooms.

"The hallways right now, the blowers are shut off to make sure every room, every interior room, receives maximum AC," said Shupp.

Because of the high temps in the hallways, the City of Petersburg issued a "Notice of Violation" to management Monday afternoon.

Petersburg Police Chief Kenneth Miller says he is hopeful the violation "can expedite some of the repairs."

The city is also concerned the building's air conditioning system won't be able to keep up this week, which could see temperatures in the rooms above 77 degrees.

"So we want to make sure that none of the rooms go higher than 77 degrees. Last November, Governor Ralph Northam passed an emergency order, dictating that anything over 77 is a violation of the maintenance code. Used to be 80 degrees and now it's down to 77," said Shupp.

Just after 5 p.m., city officials once again checked the temperature inside the Carriage House apartment building.

Temperatures had gone up, this time past the 77-degree threshold, set by Northam's emergency order.

A code enforcement official told CBS 6 the City is now in the process of issuing 115 "Notices of Violation" to management, at a fine of $100 per violation.

Those notices of violation are expected to be delivered Tuesday morning.

CBS 6 has obtained a letter sent by management to their tenants on July 17.

The letter states in part that ownership has made the decision to wait until the fall to install the new chiller. The decision comes after it was discovered the air system in the building would need to be turned off for a period of 7-10 days for chiller installation.

Because the Carriage House is home to seniors and those with disabilities, the city is now keeping a close eye on the situation.

"We've got to have some empathy and some respect for our community partners, because we owe it to them, so that's why we're here," said Chief Miller.