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4-week elevator outage at Hamilton senior apartments called ‘pathetic’

The Sherman Manor apartments in Hamilton have been without elevator service more than three weeks straight, residents and others who work with them say. MIKE RUTLEDGE/STAFF
The Sherman Manor apartments in Hamilton have been without elevator service more than three weeks straight, residents and others who work with them say. MIKE RUTLEDGE/STAFF

An apartment building in Hamilton that houses senior citizens and other people who are 55 and older has been without its elevator for nearly a month, residents and others who deal with people there say.

By one resident’s count, Wednesday marked the 26th straight day without the elevator at the Sherman Manor, 926 S. Second St. That has prompted some residents to cancel doctor appointments because they couldn’t get out, residents said.

The building has four stories, plus a ground floor, and it is impossible for some residents to reach the laundry area or leave the building.

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“I think it’s pathetic that they can’t use the elevator,” Tammy Earls, of Hamilton, a home-care provider for a resident. “There’s a lot of handicapped people here that really need it.”

At least one resident contacted Hamilton’s health department some time ago about the issue. This media outlet’s calls since Monday to the health department have not been returned.

But Brandon Saurber, the city’s director of Strategy & Information, said city fire and health officials would be at the building Thursday, and they will be required to have a plan of action to work with these folks and help their residents, because certainly there are life-safety considerations.”

The building is owned by GT Apartments LLC in Cincinnati. Calls to the building’s leasing office and manager were not returned.

Residents, who didn’t want to be quoted by name, saying they fear reprisals, said elevator-service people have visited repeatedly and tried to fix it, but have encountered numerous problems, including needing to find other parts, even after replacements were tried.

Prior to the elevator being out for the consecutive days, there had been times before that in recent months when it wasn’t functioning, one resident said.

The main door that people use to access the building hasn’t been working also, Earls said. People should be able to punch a button with an apartment’s number to be buzzed in, but it doesn’t work, she said.

“It’s a dangerous situation,” Earls said.

Sherman Manor has efficiencies, as well as 1-, and 2-bedroom units.

The city in early 2017 considered legislation that would have required landlords to register their apartments so the city could inspect the buildings annually or every two years to ensure they meet health, building and safety standards, with landlords being required to pay about $25 or $75 per apartment per year.

In proposing the legislation, city staff presented Hamilton City Council with images of dilapidated and unsafe apartment buildings in town.

The city abruptly tabled that consideration after landlords expressed outrage over the proposal. A city was created with landlords, city staff and others to try to develop an alternative, but none has surfaced.

Explore FROM 2017: Hamilton landlords still upset as city creates group to examine rules