OGDENSBURG — The executive director of the Ogdensburg Housing Authority says all is being done that can be done to knock down an outbreak of bedbugs at Centennial Terrace and Riverview Towers in the city.
William Seymour was asked to address City Council following ongoing concerns about bedbugs at the Housing and Urban Development-administered apartment complex and complaints by residents that more needs to be done to wipe out the critters.
“In regards to bedbugs, we have done exactly what the Board of Health recommends,” Mr. Seymour said. “We called in a licensed exterminator when we were notified of the problem. Depending on the level of infestation he came back and gave them a second treatment about two weeks later.”
The housing authority director said in addition to the initial treatments he reached out to the Syracuse Housing Authority, and that agency recommended a second exterminator.
“This past week we hired an additional exterminator who came highly recommended from the Syracuse Housing Authority, to go door-to-door at each apartment in Riverview Towers and Centennial Terrace to inspect for bedbugs,” Mr. Seymour said.
Mr. Seymour said the additional bug expert spent two days in Ogdensburg and inspected each apartment in the housing complex on Washington Street. He said a subsequent report showed that approximately 15 percent of the apartments will have to be treated.
“We have already treated about half of the infected apartments,” he said.
Mr. Seymour also said it will take a combined effort of tenants and housing authority members to alleviate problems at the complex.
Residents who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting has mixed opinions regarding the bedbug infestation. Some said that the housing authority was working hard to alleviate the problem, while others said the authority’s reaction to the problem has been slow and inadequate.
Mayor Wayne L. Ashley pointed out that the City Council has no authority over how the HUD facility is operated, but that the city cares about those who live in the facility.
Resident concerns also included allegations that some of those who live in the apartments are dealing drugs and involved in other similar activity.
City Manager Sarah Purdy said she would continue listening to the concerns of residents and take those concerns to the office of Congresswoman Elise Stefanik if needed.