Troublesome rooming house

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WALKERS POINT -- It's a local rooming house with a troublesome record including dozens of police calls and code violations. Now neighbors say they've had enough.

Julie Teska is concerned about the rooming house she lives next to in Walkers Point.

The number of police calls from January 1 to August 15 of this year, according to city records, is 31. Reports list calls for fights, both physical and verbal, repeat 9-1-1's for abuse, loitering and other trouble.

"There's public inoxication, drinking out on the porch when drinking gets heavy, there's violence," said Teska.

It's the last known address of a sex offender, even with the playground across the street, a school down the block and an area with many children.

In this historic neighborhood where homes are well kept, the number of violations just issued by neighborhood services for the rooming house is 39.

On Thursday, during our visit to the rooming house, workers were trying to improve the place after receiving the violations.

"He only comes to fix the place when there's problems. He only addresses issues with his tenants when there's massive problems," said neighbor Whitney Teska.

The alderman for this district isn't convinced either.

"It's simply the case of an irresponsibly landlord. We had a fairly large meeting about a year ago having to do with problems that are worsening over here and the landlord showed up and basically that should have been his shout over the bow so to speak and very little has been done since then," said Ald. Jim Witkowiak.

We tried reaching the listen main owner, Damon Honegger who did not return our calls.

We met a man who claims to be the co-owner, but he did not want to comment.

A man we spoke to who says he manages the property says he keeps the place under control. He doesn't know if sex offenders live there and he even said as long as residents pay the rent, who cares.

Witkoviak said when the license renewal comes up before the end of the year, city leaders will take a close look at whether the rooming house can remain.


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