Jumping into a nice pool on a hot day is awesome. Staring at a green pool, breeding mosquitoes? Not so good. Do you have to put up with it, even if it’s not on your property? That’s why a woman called Help Me Howard from South Florida with Patrick Fraser.
It’s summer, that is, pool time. Sparkling blue water in your garden, floats and has fun. It’s one of the reasons Priscilla rented a Hollywood resort.
Priscilla Barber: “My kids were super excited there was a pool, and I bought them some floaties.”
Now let’s look over Priscilla’s shoulder as she stands on her balcony on this May day.
Priscilla Barber: “There are mosquito larvae, eggs in there. It’s just disgusting. It’s disgusting.”
According to government records, the pool has been a mess since November, when it was closed.
Priscilla Barber: “They didn’t fix the pumps. They didn’t fix the pool. They did not treat the algae.
Take a look at the photos Priscilla has taken over the past few months. She says the pool goes from blue to light green, to dark green, to black, and then…
Priscilla Barber: “And they just pour bleach in it and make the water white for a few days and then it turns green again.”
Hollywood Park Apartments North were cited by the Department of Health in November, December, April and by the City of Dania Beach in May.
Priscilla Barber: “It’s so disgusting. It’s bubbling.
The pool pump hasn’t worked for months, and Priscilla says the combination of mosquitoes and algae has made her family’s health difficult.
Priscilla Barber: “And I noticed I had allergy symptoms, and two of my kids, just had a lot of mucus in their chests, tiredness, itchy eyes.”
Priscilla complained to the owner…
Priscilla Barber: “And he told me you didn’t have to stay here if you didn’t like the condition.”
Priscilla hasn’t paid the rent and is leaving. The swimming pool won’t be her problem, but she says she doesn’t want her friends who live in the apartment building to keep taking care of it.
Priscilla Barber: “If you don’t clean it, just empty the pool.”
Well, whether it’s an apartment pool or a neighbour’s, Howard can you do anything if it’s a breeding ground for mosquitoes?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Absolutely. The law gives cities and counties great power to protect public health. They can cite the owner and fine him with increasing fees to induce him to fix the pool. If that doesn’t work, the city or county can fix it themselves and place a lien on the property, and if someone gets sick or injured from a dirty pool, the owner could be financially liable.
In June, a Dania Beach magistrate held a hearing on the application of the code after the owners of the building were cited.
Dania Beach Magistrate: “Is anyone here from the building?”
The owner did not show up. Since the pool was clean that morning, they only had to pay a $100 fee, but the owner missed a warning.
Dania Beach magistrate: “In the event of a repeat offense, it would be a fine of 500 dollars. If it gets really serious, then it would be an irreparable violation, and the fine could be up to $5,000 per day.
The owner, Jacob Rimone, wouldn’t talk to me, but his lawyer did, telling me that they couldn’t fix the pool for a while because they were replacing the windows in the resort. That the pool repairs were significant with offers to fix the problem reaching $50,000; adding that the owner goes out every day to pour chemicals into the pool to keep it clean, but Priscilla isn’t around to see it.
Priscilla Barber: “So relieved. I feel so much better.
Priscilla has moved into a new apartment complex with her kids, but she won’t forget her old neighbors and their pool problem.
Priscilla Barber: “If I hear something about one of my neighbors saying the pool is green again, then I will definitely be proactive and try to help them.”
It’s nice of you to keep an eye out for your friends, Priscilla, and if your neighborhood has a green pool, contact the health department and the city or county. You know the diseases that mosquitoes can spread, and a dark pool is dangerous if a child falls into it.
Problems swarming around you? Ignore the buzz. Take a dip and contact us. Hope things go well.
With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News.
CONTACT HELP HOWARD:
Reporter: Patrick Fraser at firstname.lastname@example.org
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