NewsGreat Falls News


Residents say no heat during sub-zero temps at senior living apartments

Portage Apartments
Posted at 11:30 PM, Jan 13, 2024

MTN News talked with Portage Apartments management on Wednesday and were told that one boiler went down, while another remained operational.

They also said that the working boiler temperature fell from 180 to 160, so residents were still able to get heat, though it wasn't able to be maxed out.

Portage has contacted the Accessible Space, Inc. for a new boiler system

(1st REPORT) Some residents at The Portage Apartments in Great Falls say they do not have heat in their rooms as temperatures remain below zero.

“They always say ‘it’s being worked on, its being worked on,’” said Russell Motschenbacher, a resident at The Portage Apartments, “That’s the same damn story they’ve had for two years, so, it’s ridiculous.”

The Portage Apartments house people 62 years old and older. The parent company, Accessible Space Incorporated, is located in St. Paul, Minnesota. The residents I spoke to said that they are unable to reach anyone in St. Paul to help.

Motschenbacher is one of several residents who say they do not have heat in their rooms. He has been coming to the front entranceway to the building to stay warm. Others have gathered near the fireplace in the common room, and some even turn on their ovens and keep them open to warm their rooms.

“We have some heat, but the maintenance man has been trying for two years to get the boilers replaced,” Motschenbacher said, “He has had no luck.”

According to the residents I spoke to, the maintenance worker left after saying that he could only temporarily fix the problem and that it was a much bigger issue.

“He looked at it and he says, ‘I can patch it up, but it will only last, you know, a few days,” Motschenbacher said.

KRTV was told the site caretaker attempted to reach Accessible Space Inc. and tried to get new boilers but has not had any luck.

One resident said that they had pipes burst in their room. They said they have had no contact with Accessible Space Inc. regarding the issue. Luckily, they are able to stay with a family member, but other residents have no such luxury.

KRTV contacted the site caretaker as well as the alternate maintenance emergency phone numbers, and the only comments received were that it is being addressed. The residents, however, do not think it is being dealt with in a timely manner.