Owners of Kamm’s Island Apartments keeping residents without power, for now

Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 6:21 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Residents at Kamm’s Island Apartments in Mishawaka haven’t had any electricity for about a month and tenants can’t get straight answers about when the power will be back on.

Residents are frustrated to say the least, but on Friday Mishawaka Utilities was out at the complex working near the building.

So far residents are still in the dark.

“No electricity, no hot water. I’m using my Instant Pot not only to cook all our meals, but to heat up hot water, so we can bathe, so we can wash our hair,” Thann Mack says. She lives at Kamm’s Island Apartments.

Mack says she’s been using a generator for power.

Outside the building there are loose wires on a utility pole and they don’t appear connected to anything. Residents saw a post from the property manager, posted on the building, saying the power would “probably” be on today.

But no luck.

“It’s supposed to be on today. The other rumor is it’s supposed to be on next Friday and the latest rumor is it’s not going to be turned on until July 2nd because everybody has to be out of here July 3rd,” Mack says.

The tenants will have to move out as they all received a “notice to quit” from the property owners, and some residents I spoke to off camera think cutting the power is a ploy to push residents out sooner. I have reached out to Indiana Land Trust, who appears to own the property, but have received no response for the second time. When I called their number I was transferred to a voicemail for Berkshire Hathaway.

Residents have had the same experience.

“Nobody returns our calls,” Mack says.

Mishawaka Utilities have been out at the property on Friday, but so far the switch hasn’t been flipped back on. Residents at Kamm’s say the building owners still need to fix some wiring before the city can connect the power.

“We’re both on disability, and nobody cares, nobody cares. The heat is horrible. We’ve got two fans going because we can’t hook up the air conditioner because the generator won’t handle it,” Mack says.

I reached out to the Mishawaka Building Department and Building Commissioner Bo Hundt has been in contact with Mishawaka Utilities and Commissioner Hundt says the utility company is still waiting on the contractor with the property to finish electrical work before the city can restore power.

Thann Mack has a message for the property owners.

“Do the right thing. Have some compassion. I mean we’re not asking for anything for free. We’re asking what we’ve already paid you for and we’re on a fixed income.”

Earlier this week the Mishawaka Building Department told me that the building must have power restored by the middle of next week or the property owners could face fines for code violations.

We’ll continue to follow this story.

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