COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus Code Enforcement officials spent the morning at Ralston Towers making sure residents are not being forced to live in stifling temperatures.
After the death of 61-year old resident Charles Hart, the Columbus Consolidated Government gave PF Holdings LLC, the company that owns Ralston Towers, until 9 a.m. Monday to make temporary changes.
The situation at the Ralston has reached the point where some residents may have to be relocated. Willie Davis is one of those residents.
“Am I worried? Sure. But am I going to get a heart attack? Absolutely not,” Davis said.
His room, along with 26 others, were found to be out of compliance with the city’s standards.
If a room is not below 80 degrees, the resident of that room will be moved to a vacant room starting tomorrow. There are about 50 vacant rooms and around 20 of those rooms have air conditioning.
Columbus Inspections and Codes Director John Hudgison went through the building.
“Our concern is that we didn’t know how many vacant rooms were over there until we got over there this morning,” Hudgison said. “Now that we know how many vacancies are that gives us a situation where we don’t have to shut them down or put them on the street there’s a remedy that the owner can take to put them in rooms that will meet that below 80 degrees.”
The city of Columbus has received plenty of backlash from the community on the Ralston living conditions.
“To the extent that people are turning their anger toward the city, that’s fine I mean that’s what we’re here for in a way. But it’s deflecting and keeping it from getting to the property owner,” Columbus Mayor Teresa Tomlinson said. “If there’s petitions or outrage or they want to write a letter that really should be addressed to the property owner.”
But for folks like Willie Davis, the concern is not knowing if he’ll have to move to a new room tomorrow.
“I always thought you get what you pay for, but I found out that’s a lie. Sometimes you get less than what you pay for.”