Homes found for tenantsHACAP reports displaced people now have places to live
RenElla Crawford, operations manager for the Hawkeye Area Community Action Program (HACAP), reported today that the last of the former residents of Goncho Apartments who were displaced last month have found housing.
This morning in her office at Orchard Hill, Crawford was making out checks to cover the first month’s rent and deposit for the former tenants. She said there are still two people who are staying with family that the program needs to find permanent housing for. She said that the families that had been staying in a local motel have found permanent residences.
“We’ve had some donations to cover the costs,” Crawford said. “It shouldn’t impact our other services at all.”
Crawford said she was amazed at all the donations that were received from the community to help the people. She said that there were more clothing donations then were needed. She also said many people donated household items and cash. She believes HACAP will continue receiving cash donations to help the people. She credits the people of Washington, as well as The Rev. Jim Cluney and the members of the Washington Area Ministerial Association for the work they did. People wishing to make donations to aid the former tenants of Goncho Apartments can still donate by contacting HACAP at 653-7275.
Washington City Administrator Brent Hinson reported today that the city is arranging to have every apartment in the building checked for the presence of methamphetamine. He said any apartment that tests as being contaminated will have to have the contamination mitigated before it can be declared habitable. He said that tenants will be able to retrieve items from apartments that are not found to be contaminated, but he doesn’t believe tenants will be able to move back in until the meth discovered in the building is abated and the building is made fire code compliant. He said among the problems discovered were non-working extinguishers and fire alarms and problems with the exit ladder.
On Jan. 16, the Washington Police Department ordered Goncho Apartments to be vacated until unacceptable levels of methamphetamine found in the building were abated. A press release said that because of the high level of meth and numerous fire and safety code violations “the building is being deemed dangerous and unsafe to occupy at this time.” The building was secured at 10 a.m. Jan. 17, and anyone found inside will be charged with trespass.
On Dec. 6, members of an intercounty drug task force arrested three people in connection with meth manufacture. During the arrests, two were arrested in a car with an active meth lab on the south side of the square in Washington. Shortly after the arrests, police conducted a search warrant at an apartment in Goncho. The apartment was declared off limits on Dec. 21, after the amount of methamphetamine was found to be 50 percent higher than safe levels.
According to police reports, Ronald Wayne Boileau, 50, of Washington, had been charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine and three counts of conspiracy to deliver methamphetamine. Kyle Joseph Boileau, 26, and Brianna Kay Hole, 23, both of Wayland, are charged with conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine. Ronald Boileau later committed suicide in the Washington County Jail.
Hinson reported that the tenant of the apartment had not been arrested. He said the person most directly responsible for the meth in the building is “deceased.”