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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Citizens plans shut-off at 4 apartment complexes, citing owner’s delinquent payments

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Citizens Energy Group plans to disconnect services at four Indianapolis apartment complexes Sept. 30, citing unpaid utility bills that amount to more than $1.7 million.

Citizens said it began placing door tag notices of the planned disconnections at Berkley Commons, Woods at Oak Crossing, Covington Square and Capital Place Apartments.

The utility company said it has tried working out payment plans with the owner, JPC Affordable Housing, to recover overdue funds but said JPC and its affiliate, Berkley Commons LLC, have “repeatedly broken the arrangements or refused to agree to reasonable repayment terms.”

Citizens said it will “work closely with agencies assisting customers with relocation” if it turns off service in September. The utility company also said it will waive utility connection fees associated with new accounts and apply financial aid from available programs when possible.

In a statement, Mayor Joe Hogsett criticized Citizens’ threat to disconnect services, calling it “incredibly disappointing.”

“We strongly believe that repayment, as well as a positive outcome for the hundreds of residents of these properties, is best achieved through continued, coordinated legal action with CEG and the Office of the Indiana Attorney General,” Hogsett said. “Instead, today’s action throws residents into uncertainty amidst an already challenging time. The City is considering all options in response and will continue working with all parties involved to prioritize the well-being of tenants and their families.”

In April, Citizens filed a lawsuit against JPC over $1.3 million in unpaid bills. Citizens turned off water service at Berkley Commons and Capital Place, and the city paid for it to be restored. The city has also filed suit against the owner to recoup money.

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