published Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Neighbors, apartment manager take complaints to City Hall

The back yards of the Northcrest Circle apartment units line up back-to-back to the chainlink fence in the background where another apartment complex begins.
The back yards of the Northcrest Circle apartment units line up back-to-back to the chainlink fence in the background where another apartment complex begins.
Photo by Randall Higgins.

CLEVELAND, Tenn. — For decades, some Pryor Street homeowners have been feuding with people who live in the apartment complex across from them.

After numerous calls to police and trips to the Cleveland City Council about problems at Northcrest Circle apartments, residents who live across Pryor were told Monday that increased policing has reduced the crime statistics at Northcrest and the majority owner is installing a concrete pad, at the city's request, to accommodate a large garbage bin.

The 34-unit Northcrest has been the scene of assaults and drug deals in the past, the neighbors said, but they agreed crime activity has decreased. But they said they still expect harassment, booming music and taunts from across the street will continue, and they vowed to keep calling the city when that happens.

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The homeowners, majority apartment owner Peggy Kimsey, apartment manager Mike Hodnett and police met Monday with City Manager Janice Casteel, the city attorney and others in another attempt to resolve the complaints before the City Council met.

The bulk of the complaint calls come from one person, Police Chief Wes Snyder said. He wondered why others haven't called, as well.

At the meeting, Brenda Andrada acknowledged that she's the one making most of the calls.

"Fine," she said, "you can single me out if you want to," but others have called, too.

Joseph Andrada, her husband, said he has made complaint calls to police in recent weeks.

Jeanne Goins said she has complained about Northcrest since the units were built 30 years ago. She told Snyder she would like to see the apartments torn down and a park built there instead.

Goins and the Andradas said they contend with trash, graffiti and bottle rockets aimed at their yards.

Hodnett said Goins harasses the apartment dwellers by taking photos of them.

"I don't take pictures of people but [of] what needs to be repaired," she responded.

When the City Council met later Monday, the neighbors and Hodnett spoke again to the council.

Following up on the neighbors' complaints from two weeks ago, Public Works Director Tommy Myers said the owner is installing the concrete pad for a garbage bin.

Some building repairs will be made, too, Hodnett said, by Sept. 15.

Originally built as town homes in the mid-1970s, most Northcrest units now are rented, although some are individually owned.

about Randall Higgins...

Randall Higgins covers news in Cleveland, Tenn., for the Times Free Press. He started work with the Chattanooga Times in 1977 and joined the staff of the Chattanooga Times Free Press when the Free Press and Times merged in 1999. Randall has covered Southeast Tennessee, Northwest Georgia and Alabama. He now covers Cleveland and Bradley County and the neighboring region. Randall is a Cleveland native. He has bachelor’s degree from Tennessee Technological University. His awards ...

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