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Prairie Park Senior Apartments under notice from city to fix air conditioning

MADISON (WKOW) — The senior apartment complex Prairie Park has new concerns, after dealing with a series of issues since August’s historic flooding.

In September, we reported on the lengthy process to move residents back in and their issues with faulty elevators and no air conditioning soon after. In November, we heard complaints the boiler wasn’t working and there was no heat.

Now as summer approaches, tenants said they’re back to the same problem they had in the fall: no central air conditioning.

Jeff Angle said he noticed the problem in early May. His apartment faces the west and he said the afternoon sun has been heating things up.

“It hits this point, it turns into an oven in here,” he said. “And the hot days are yet to come.”

Angle said he asked the property managers when they’ll be switching from heat to air conditioning and they said the chiller is broken and they’ll have to wait for repairs.

“We’ve got the ceiling fan going. We’ve got a box fan going,” he said. “We’ve got another fan going in the bedroom.”

Angle said he and his wife are making due, but they’re not sure how long they’ll last.

“I’ve got COPD and sometimes, just recently it’s gotten so bad I’ve thought about getting a hotel room or going shopping for something I didn’t need just so I could be in the air-conditioned environment,” he said.

According to George Hank, director of the city Building Inspection office, said his team is aware of the problem. He said an inspector came out last week after complaints about the lack of A/C and issued an official notice asking Prairie Park to fix the problem by the end of the day on Thursday.

“We will follow up on Friday to see what is going on,” Hank said.

He said his department isn’t sure what caused the A/C to fail but he said it could have been broken since August’s floods. Most residents moved back in early fall so the A/C may not have been a priority at the time.

“We may not have known it was an issue until we got into warmer temperatures,” Hank said.

As tenants await repairs, Prairie Park has installed temporary A/C units in the halls and is offering a cooling center in the apartment lobby.

“I’m glad they did it but unless you’re wiling to spend your day out in the hallway, it does no good for the house,” Angle said.

That’s why after waiting nearly a year for a series of fixes, Angle said his patience is running out.

“We couldn’t wait to get moved in here,” he said. “Now we can’t wait to get out.”

A spokeswoman with Prairie Park’s building management company Greystone Property wasn’t able to answer by news time whether or not the air conditioning unit was ever repaired after August flooding or if they expect to meet the building inspector’s Friday deadline.

She did issue the following statement: “The safety and well being of the residents is our first priority, and we are actively addressing the issue with the air conditioner for the speediest resolution possible.”

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