UPDATE: Water shutoff temporarily averted at Valley complex

Posted: Updated:
Extended for 2 weeks
azfamily.com

ORIGINAL REPORT:

PHOENIX - Crisis averted, at least for now, for hundreds of people living in a west Phoenix condo complex.

The city had threatened to turn their water off on Monday because their Home Owner's Association owed thousands in back water bills.

The city extended its deadline and the condo HOA has another 2 weeks to come up with $70,000 owed in back water bills.

Still residents are preparing just in case the faucets to stop flowing. One resident tells 3TV, "We're out here filling buckets, hampers, and tubs."

Residents at the complex went through a two-day water shutoff a few weeks ago.

The tenant says, "We saw ourselves going to Burger King or a restaurant to use the restroom. I felt like a homeless person."

The huge unpaid water bill at the condo complex is reportedly the result of a number of foreclosures that have lead to the collapse of the HOA.

The dire situation has a number of people planning to move out. One resident says, "I'm not going to put up with this. Not my family."

City officials tell 3TV they want at least a portion of what is owed and hope to set up a payment plan to prevent a water shutoff.

UPDATE:

PHOENIX - A meeting with the city turned into a shouting match on Wednesday.

Hundreds of people who live at a condo complex in west Phoenix will be without water on Monday even though they have paid their bills.

City officials said they have never seen a situation like this. This is what makes it so unique and so difficult.

The condos and townhouses are owned by individual people, however the meter that controls the water goes to multiple units, not just that one person's home.

Resident Tashia Braxton tells 3TV, "This ain't going to solve nothing. This ain't going to get us nowhere. Water is going to get cut off on Monday cause this ain't going to work."

Braxton has lived there for 14 years has no idea where she will be staying on Monday. She says, "It's not right. It's not humanly right. Why would you cut off our water?"

She has always paid her Home Owners Association fee on time, like clock work.

The money collected by the HOA fee goes to pay for things like maintenance, insurance, garbage collecting and water.

Nevertheless, according to the city, for the last six months the water bill has not been paid and now the complex owes around $70,000.

Arthuro Pacheco, president of the HOA, tells 3TV, "We tried to get a lawyer to collect the money but man it takes a long time." Pacheco says he took over about six months ago when he says the complex was about to be condemned. He also says the problem is twofold.

Because of foreclosures and other issues, about half of the people are not paying their dues. Plus Pacheco says when he took over the complex it was more than $50,000 in debt to the water department.

The city says that is not true and there was not an issue until Pacheco took over and stopped making regular payments.

The HOA president says he has the proof that he has been sending payment but it will take him a couple of days to provide that to 3TV.

The water department showed 3TV several bills that show there was no debt six months ago, but it accrued over the last six months.

The water company said they would not cut off water at the complex if residents get on a payment plan. A group of about five or six condos will have to work together to pay off the debt.

The problem is it ranges from about $200 to roughly $2,000.