SHARON, Pa. (WKBN) – The city of Sharon and Sharon Towers residents are hoping for some answers soon from the property owner and former property manager.
Both are scheduled for court hearings next month.
The Mercer County District Attorney’s Office is investigating whether there may be criminal issues in the operation of the State Towers Complex. Sharon officials deemed the apartment complex on E. State Street uninhabitable following an inspection.
As WKBN reported, the residents’ water was shut off and natural gas service was also cut because of problems with pipes. Firefighters say they had to get a search warrant to inspect the building and found that gas had been leaking into the building.
Sharon’s City Manager Bob Fiscus said the former property manager Joe Fusco turned himself in on the bench warrants to district court last week. Property owner Nancy Ducker turned herself in for her alleged involvement as well.
Fusco will be in court Monday, and Ducker will be in on May 11.
Fiscus says the response is still an “all hands on deck” situation.
Several different agencies have stepped in to assist the city to help residents.
“It’s really enlightening to see how fast everyone came together. There was zero delay. As soon as this crisis became apparent, everyone instantly came together and worked together and that was without having a good plan in place,” said Bob Fiscus.
Fiscus is truly thankful for the several different agencies, some they’ve never really had the chance to work with before.
Some of the biggest help is coming from the Shenango Valley Urban League, which has helped with getting housing arranged. The Community Food Warehouse also stepped in, making sure no one is without food.
There are several organizations helping as well as a neighboring borough.
West Middlesex councilmen Bill Novak took to social media, asking for donations and other necessities. Novak says the situation in Sharon has opened the conversation countywide, to keep landlords accountable.
“This one particular issue is leading to potentially a conference at some point countywide to discuss different issues that municipalities are facing, working together as an entire county to work on fixing them,” Novak said.
Novak said the residents of the towers still need plenty of hygiene products. Donations can be dropped off at the Borough building on North Street.
Fiscus, who also serves as the fire chief, provided some more details regarding the conditions inside the building.
He said there are roughly 60 fire violations. These included broken, inoperable fire doors, which prevent smoke from rising in the building if a fire started. Smoke detectors also not working properly.
This is an ongoing situation. First News will continue following the latest developments.