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City holds landlord responsible for apartment building

Date: 5/7/2015

HOLYOKE – The city has decided to make Lucjan Hronowski responsible for the apartment building he owns on the corner of Elms and Appleton streets.

“We want to send a message loud and clear that we don’t tolerate this behavior,” Mayor Alex Morse said. He added the action the city is taking will “set an example” for other landlords.

The apartment building at 173-177 Elm St. and 365 Appleton St. has been the location of a number of police calls often relating to drugs, Morse and Police Chief James Neiswanger explained.

Since Jan. 6, 2014 the Holyoke Police Department has sent six notices to Hronowski and at least 38 separate letters identifying people involved in drug arrests on the property.

On April 28, the city has sent the Bedford-based landlord an order to “immediately abate the nuisance and are prohibited from directly or indirectly maintaining or permitting such nuisance on the property. You are ordered to develop and implement an approved security plan detailing measures to abate the nuisance and comply with this order.”

The letter continued and described the requirements of the security plan which must include hiring police details, the installation of security cameras and an electronic key/access system and maintaining a written list of all active leases and tenants.

Hronowski has seven days from the date of the letter to contact the Police Department to develop the plan. It then must be put in place within 30 days of the notice.

If Hronowski doesn’t abide with the order the city will start legal action against him and the property.

A phone call to Hronowski was not returned by press time.

Neiswanger said the city had success with the building at 5 Adams St. last year through a private and public partnership. He said that since that time and the action taken the calls for service from the building have been “knocked down.”

He characterized the building at Elm and Appleton streets as being one at which his officers “keep going back.”

Neiswanger said, “Any uncooperative landlord should be held accountable.”

There are other buildings that potentially will be the subject of similar action, but Neiswanger declined to identify them at this time. He did estimate there are about 10 areas of the city that receive “extra attention.”

He said the strategy is to address “one block, one building at a time” and that any future actions against other buildings will be based on the data about that building.

“The biggest violator, the biggest calls for service will get our attention first,” he said.

Morse said the city will be beefing up its capacity to address issues presented by problem buildings with an additional attorney assigned to housing matters as well as another code enforcement officer.