The city of Slater found itself caught recently between a group of disgruntled apartment building tenants and an elusive new owner of the building after the previous owner requested the utilities be taken out of his name.
Residents of Slater's Edgewood/RPM Apartments had a scare when their landlord, Mike Minor, defaulted on his mortgage and asked the city to remove his name from the utilities.
Assistant City Administrator Gene Griffith said he didn't want to leave the tenants in the dark and without water, but he couldn't give them utilities for free.
Griffith reported the situation to the city council Tuesday, Nov. 4, with a group of tenants in the audience to see whether the city could help resolve the problem.
After a few days filled with phone calls, Griffith said the problem was resolved when American Home Mortgage, the building's new owners, paid a deposit to the city to continue utility service to the Edgewood Apartments.
Tenant Mike Plessel said about 20 people currently inhabit 11 of the building's 16 units.
Gilliam native Matthew Foster, whose family includes an infant, was especially shocked by the news that utilities would be turned off. He has lived in the building only about three weeks, he said.
Plessel said the building has previously changed hands twice while he has lived there and each time the transition went smoothly.
Allegri praised Griffith for his work trying to track down someone who would take responsibility for the utility service.
Griffith said it took a number of calls to several different companies to find someone who would even talk to him about the problem.
Tenants are still unsure about their fate and fear eviction notices may be coming.
In other business Tuesday, the council approved the appointment of Joe Gorham to serve on the police personnel board. Gorham replaces Bill Johnson, who died several months ago.
Mayor Stephen Allegri also announced that Richard Johnson resigned as chief of the city's volunteer fire department.
Allegri said Chuck Weiher would step in as chief and Levi Dennis will serve as interim assistant chief until a vote of the department staff can be taken for a permanent assistant.
In addition to Allegri, council members Rex Cantlin, Cathie Jeffries, Terry Jordan, Brownell Bryant and Harry Lightfoot were present.
The next regular meeting of the council will be Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m.