Broken-down elevators wear on southeast Calgary apartment building residents
Tracey Budge waits for one of the functioning elevators in her apartment building off 17th Avenue SE in Radisson Heights neighbourhood of Calgary. Budge was stuck inside for 40 minutes this week, and says she is advocating for the dozens of mobility challenged residents and calling for faster repairs.
CALGARY -- A resident of Radisson Place rental building says the faulty elevators are not being repaired fast enough, after being trapped herself inside the one functioning elevator for the 11-storey complex.
“I am beyond frustrated now, I’m mad. I’m really angry. There’s no excuse for this,” said Tracey Budge, who resides on the second floor.
She says the second elevator has been downed for at least two years, while the only remaining functioning elevator is not working properly, causing residents to feel unsafe.
While she typically takes the stairwell, on Tuesday she opted to take the elevator as her arms were full with groceries and a case of beer.
She and the security guard were stuck for 40 minutes after calling the property management company, Minto Apartments who brought in technicians to get the pair out.
“There’s no ventilation in there," Budge said. "It was very, very hot.”
She added “thank goodness I fared very well, (the guard) fared very well (but) somebody else wouldn’t have.”
Budge says there are at least 50 residents of the tower that have mobility issues including using a wheelchair, relying on oxygen or who are otherwise senior citizens.
"There's absolutely no excuse for this," she said. "If you are going to have a building with tenants in it, you have to do some reasonable care to make sure these tenants are going to be safe. And this is coming down to a money issue and they just don't care.
"I am angry about it," she added, "and I want help rectifying this situation. Something needs to be done."
The Calgary Fire Department says it has responded to three elevator related calls to 911 since January 2020 — yet on August 25 ”the person was let out of the elevator by a maintenance person prior to CFD arrival on scene,” said Carol Henke, public information officer.
Safety Codes Officers from the department continue to work with the building’s management team.
Notices from Minto Apartments regarding the elevators have been posted throughout the building in addition to being sent to residents.
CTV News obtained a copy of this letter which reads in part:
“We have just received word of a minor setback with respect to some essential parts being delayed in shipping due to the current COVID 19 global pandemic. Elevator 1’s refurbishment is now expected to be completed by November 30, 2020 and Elevator 2’s by February 26, 2021. If equipment delays further extend timelines, you will be updated again with a new timeline.”
Budge recalled elevator trouble in December 2019, saying some residents were moved to a different building.
The Alberta Elevating Devices & Amusement Rides Safety Association or AEDARSA confirms it issued a permit of construction for repairs to the damaged equipment in the pit, and completed an inspection on the repairs in December, 2019.
As for the ongoing maintenance concerns at Radisson Place, AEDARSA will complete an acceptance inspection with the service provider prior to public operation.
“Should there be deficiencies found during the acceptance inspection, they will need to be completed (fixed) prior to public operation,” said Dean McKernon, vice president of operations.
According to the Alberta Building Code, building or fire safety codes officers “may require the owner to make the elevating device operational or put in place alternative, equivalent measures for accessibility...
If the non-operation of the elevating device impacts emergency procedures...(officials) may issue an order to the owner to take all necessary steps to make the elevating device operational...
"... Under reasonable situations, where the owner is diligently attempting to have maintenance or servicing carried out, any enforcement action by the safety codes officer including an order for compliance may not be necessary.”
CTV News is awaiting further comment from Minto Apartments and will update this story upon receipt.