A Fort Myers apartment complex has been issued over a hundred code violations since last October for failing to provide adequate living conditions to its tenants. The city's Code Enforcement Board held a special meeting last week to decide fines for outstanding violations.
About a dozen residents from the Jones Walker apartment complex, located at 2909 Blount St., testified about their living conditions before the board.
Leaking ceilings, rampant mold, broken appliances and rodent and insect infestations were common themes the residents spoke about dealing with on a daily basis.
It is the responsibility of the apartment complex owner, Treetop Development, to fix the violations.
The New Jersey-based company’s regional manager, Naftali Levenbrown, represented the company at the hearing.
Levenbrown said he had anywhere between two and ten workers on site each day to make repairs to the 80 units on the property. He was allowed to make comments after each case.
"Nothing new," Levenbrown said to the board following one tenant's comments about her broken air conditioning and stove, which have yet to be fixed after her unit was cited for those same violations about four months ago.
The fines were imposed based on suggestions made by Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Gonzales.
"I think we should at least go for the $200 (a day) fine and no time to fix. This was already supposed to have been addressed," Gonzales said, regarding the case with the broken appliances.
Fort Myers Councilman Johnny Streets has been working to improve conditions for the residents of Jones Walker since 2015.
"Jones Walker is almost like a third world country," Streets said. "That is totally unacceptable."
Streets says some tenants feel the apartments are beyond repair and are seeking vouchers from Housing and Urban Development to move.
Some of the fines decided at this hearing will begin immediately, others have some time before they kick in. Inspections will resume in some units as soon as this week.