LINCOLN – The Alcona County Commission on Aging, along with five residents of Lincoln Manor, has filed a formal complaint with the Attorney General about bed bug infestation in part of the homes.
Executive Director Lenny Avery has reached out to state and local government officials such as: For example, State Representative Sue Allor, the No. 2 District Health Department, and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.
Avery said in an email to The News that the attorney general’s office has not yet appointed a lawyer or mediator to investigate the matter.
“As far as I know and what I have been told, they do not represent individuals.” he said. “You act as an intermediary. This means that you cannot do anything to this agency under penalty. It is unclear whether they can force the agency to address the issue at hand. “
Avery said in the email that DHD # 2 officials are not viewing bed bugs as a public health emergency because bed bugs are viewed as bothersome or harmful.
According to the Mayo Clinic, bed bugs are small, red-brown insects that bite into the exposed skin of sleeping people and animals in order to feed on their blood. They are about the size of an apple seed, and bed bugs hide in the cracks and crevices of beds, box spring beds, headboards, bed frames and other objects around a bed.
Avery and other agency staff officially stood up for residents at Lincoln Manor Apartments earlier this month because bed bug infestation prevented them from providing services to residents in more than three months.
Avery told Alcona County Commissioners earlier this month the agency must break its own policy against caring for residents in infected homes just so a senior could get a bath. This senior needs a bath three times a week, but they haven’t been able to bathe her for two months.
Avery said agency staff saw around six bed bugs in this resident’s home in the hour and 25 minutes they spent with her.
Any time agency employees are notified of the presence of bed bugs in the apartments, a policy states that they must cancel their services for all residents there. The policy does not allow them to resume services until management with Prime Properties Management notifies them that the apartment is bed bug free.
Prime Properties Management recently told the agency that the commons and laundry room were bed bug free, but Avery said they would not say if the apartments are still infested.
The County Board of Commissioners on Wednesday recommended Avery contact the Village of Lincoln to see if a tenant protection ordinance could be written.
Avery said he spoke to Village President Sheila Phillips and was told that an ordinance or zoning ordinance would take some time to work through the planning and zoning committee and that it could take a few months.
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