MACON, Ga. — Macon-Bibb county documents obtained by 13WMAZ reveal dozens of citations for code violations at the Crystal Lake Apartments.
The county documents date back to September of 2017.
In one of the earliest documents, on a single day an inspector found 9 violations, including one that cited "structures unfit for human occupancy."
Others cited electrical issues and structural weaknesses.
Nearly two years and one evacuation later, the question becomes: why wasn't something done sooner?
Mayor Robert Reichert said part of the problem is funding.
"I'm afraid we're going to have to come up with some additional resources ourselves to hire additional inspectors," he said. "Our code enforcement -- don't hold me exactly to the numbers -- but for purposes of illustration, I think we've gone from something like 10 inspectors to 2."
That drop, Reichert said, was a result of budget cuts over the past several years.
County spokesman Chris Floore later said Bibb just hired 2 new inspectors last week, bringing the total to 4, but Reichert said even that is low.
Floore also admitted the county's current policy doesn't call for regular building inspections -- inspectors only respond when someone files a complaint.
Another challenge, commissioner Al Tillman said, is enforcing the ordinances already on the books once a citation is filed. It's an issue he says he'll raise at this week's commission meeting.
"Properties that have issues, we're coming with our code enforcement," he said. "It's time to put teeth in these ordinances."
Commissioner Virgil Watkins said he'll ask the commission to enforce a current ordinance that he says allows the county to impose as much as a $10,000 fine per day until the Crystal Lake repairs are finished.
"From what I can tell, we have a management company who has been largely uninterested in providing a decent quality of life in their tenements," he said.
Crystal Lake Apartments management declined to comment and asked 13WMAZ to leave the property when we pressed them on how long it would be until the repairs are complete.
County spokesperson Chris Floore added that a representative from apartment leadership is scheduled for a March 1 court date for some of their past code violations.