By Mary K. Moule
As the outside temperature rose in late May, the temperature in several of our Senior Citizen apartment complexes in Worcester reached 90+ degrees. Yes, ninety-plus degrees! Our building is recently-built, has central air conditioning, and individual controls in each apartment. We tenants are between 62 and 90+ years of age. It was unbearably hot, and, clearly unhealthy!
When I asked “management” to turn on the central air conditioning I was told that state law “requires apartment building owners to provide heat from September 15 to June 15 of each year”.
Thus, “management” said, “when it is unusually hot during this time frame, it is beyond our control to switch from heat to air conditioning”.
Within hours of learning of our stifling situation, Councilwoman Barbara Haller brought our plight to the attention of the entire City Council at its May 31, 2011 meeting. As a result of her action, supported by the entire Council, a City Inspector promptly inspected our units, and directed that the air conditioning be turned on.
Barbara Haller is aware that the law which requires heat during certain dates also has a waiver clause, which permits apartment owners/managers to gain permission to shut the heat and turn on the air conditioning, “when it is unusually hot” before June 15th.
Thank you, Councilwoman Barbara Haller, for acting swiftly and effectively on behalf of your then-sweltering, senior constituents.