Woodland Park’s manager says they really fell behind on the power bill during the COVID pandemic

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EVANSVILLE, Ind (WEHT)– CenterPoint Energy said it is going to turn off power at the complex if managers don’t catch up on utility payments. Woodland Park residents are only responsible for rent payments. The apartment’s manager says the amount CenterPoint energy is asking for will be paid soon.

CenterPoint Energy says Woodland Park has been behind on its gas and electric bills since 2019. The manager of the complex says they might have been slightly behind on bills starting two years ago.

“We might have a small balance you know maybe from 2019, but not as the balance that they are talking about right now,” said Woodland Park Apartments Manager Samira Gallais.

Woodland Park apartments manager says the pandemic is when the complex fell even more behind on electricity bills as some residents weren’t paying rent. She says even though some residents were living there for free, they still could not be evicted.

“We lost half a million dollars due to COVID so you know we could not make the payment as they wanted us to make. So we’ve been paying our current bill plus 10,000 dollars every month from the back balance and they wanted more but the problem is how can we pay what they ask us if we have less income. That was not possible,” explained Gallais.

Neither the complex or CenterPoint will say how much Woodland Park owes, but the energy company says it’s a significant amount.

Gallais says since the payments they were making to CenterPoint wasn’t enough, the complex has no choice but to pay the amount needed to keep its residents’ lights and air conditioning on.

“Everything, you know, is going to be back on track. We are going to resolve this matter by August the 5th,” said Gallais.

Resolving the bill payment issue by August 5 will keep everyone’s light on, but the Housing Authority of the City of Evansville sent the apartment’s management team a letter saying they have until Friday to work out this issue with CenterPoint Energy.

“We have families in there on vouchers that will be a part of this if utilities are shut off. We are already contacting them, making them aware so they can be preemptive in trying to relocate. That’s the only thing I can really state on that,” said Rick Moore, executive director of the Evansville Housing Authority.

In EHA’s letter Moore signed, it stated that if Woodland Park does not resolve this payment issue by 5:00 on Friday, all voucher holder residents may break their lease immediately without losing their benefits.

CenterPoint Energy says Woodland Parks Apartments have until the end of August to finalize and honor a payment plan before the power is shut off.

When Eyewitness News asked Woodland Park’s manager who owns the complex, she said she couldn’t release that information, but Woodland Park is privately owned and Woodland Park is the only property in Indiana their owners have.

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