Hamilton building for older residents fires repair company over weeks-long elevator issue

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

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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

Frustrated with ongoing problems with fixing its elevator, a Hamilton apartment building that houses older adults has fired its repair company and hired another, its property manager said Thursday.

Hamilton health and fire officials have given the owners of Sherman Manor, 926 S. Second St., which houses adults 55 and older, until today to develop a plan to repair the elevator, which residents have said has been broken almost constantly for about 27 days.

Brandon Saurber, the city’s director of strategy and information, said city staff met with representatives of the apartment building and “the owner was presented with orders to present a plan to resolve the elevator issue for review by (the fire department) and Health” by the end of the business day today.

“The plan is also required to ensure residents are able to safely leave and return to their apartments as needed until the elevator is repaired,” Saurber wrote.

He noted that under Hamilton’s property maintenance code, “In buildings equipped with passenger elevators, at least one elevator shall be maintained in operation at all times when the building is occupied.”

Property manager Mike Taylor said the owners fired (the) former repair company because, “They were giving us one excuse after the other, why it wasn’t being fixed.”

“The tenants, they’re the ones having to deal with it, but it is frustrating,” Taylor said. “They had been our contractor for a while, and just seemingly out of nowhere, they dropped the ball, and you can’t drop the ball at a 55-and-up building. You just can’t.

“They should be out Monday. It’s a little bit complicated. Basically, our elevator is a specialized one, and the person who specializes in that elevator (with the new repair company) won’t be in until Monday.”

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City officials “asked us to come up with a plan to help the tenants until then,” Taylor said. “So we’ll be giving them a plan (today) with how we’re going to be handling it throughout the weekend.”

What will be done?

“Not sure yet,” Taylor said. “That’s what we’re trying to figure out.”

The former elevator service company was blaming the age of the elevator, but it’s not that old, Taylor said. It’s a 2001 elevator, he said.

Hamilton Fire Chief Mark Mercer said city paramedics have been in the building in recent weeks, and he believes the elevator has been operating some of that time.

In cases when elevators aren’t working, the city’s paramedics have gurneys — stretchers with wheels that carry medical patients — that are specialized “stair chairs” that have tracks that make it easier for handlers to get people down staircases.

“It’s definitely an issue,” Mercer said. “We have some calls occasionally” at the several-story building. “They definitely are working on the elevator, and should have a plan by the end of the day (Friday) to have that resolved.”

Residents have said the building’s owners have repeatedly had the former elevator-service company in to try to make repairs, with little success.

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Sherman Manor rents efficiencies, as well as one-, and two-bedroom units, available to people who are 55 or older.

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