Electricity to stay on for tenants of Oakhill
Ohio Edison won't shut off power before tenants relocate.
By DEBORA SHAULIS
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN -- The lights will remain on at Oakhill Renaissance Place for 20 more days, while Southside Community Development Corporation's bankruptcy case unfolds.
The nonprofit SCDC is landlord of Oakhill Renaissance Place, formerly known as Forum Health Southside Medical Center. SCDC's efforts to create a community hub there and revitalize the city's South Side ended April 19 when directors warned tenants that the facility would close by April 30 for lack of money.
The city successfully sought a temporary restraining order two weeks ago that kept Oakhill open to remaining tenants, including the Youngstown Health Department. The city said an interruption in the heath department's services would jeopardize public safety.
The city was prepared Friday to ask a Mahoning County Common Pleas Court judge to issue a preliminary injunction to keep the building open for up to 60 more days.
SCDC's Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing of May 3 prevents creditors from proceeding with other court actions, Youngstown Law Director Iris Torres Guglucello said Friday. The city is listed among SCDC's creditors.
Ohio Edison also is a creditor, so the bankruptcy prevents it from shutting off electricity to Oakhill for at least 20 days, Guglucello said.
Ohio Edison has been "very cooperative," Guglucello said, and company attorneys have indicated that service at Oakhill won't be stopped before tenants have relocated. The city is negotiating continued services with the company that provides steam heat at Oakhill while the health department collects proposals for new sites, she said.
Atty. Andrew Suhar was appointed this week as interim trustee of the bankruptcy case. Suhar met Friday afternoon with parties in the matter but couldn't be reached to comment.
The health department's rent payment for May has been placed in escrow, and the court will decide if that money will go to SCDC or utility providers, Guglucello said.