Buses Take Displaced Patten Towers Residents To Local Hotels For A Week

Monday, June 3, 2013
Jenee McClain-Bankhead of PK Management speaks as Kimberly George of the Salvation Army, Mark Waite of the Red Cross, Amy Maxwell of Hamilton County EMS and Mayor Andy Berke stand at the rear
Jenee McClain-Bankhead of PK Management speaks as Kimberly George of the Salvation Army, Mark Waite of the Red Cross, Amy Maxwell of Hamilton County EMS and Mayor Andy Berke stand at the rear

Buses began rolling at 1 p.m. Monday taking displaced Patten Towers residents from a temporary shelter at the Brainerd Recreation Center to local hotels.

Officials of PK Management said they had lined up 108 rooms at six hotels, and that would take care of the immediate need.

The hotel stays are good for seven days. PK Management officials said they were working on more permanent plans for the residents, who had to move out when the former high-rise hotel had an electrical fire last Tuesday night.

Jenee McClain-Bankhead, north division manager for PK Management, said the firm is hopeful that the residents will be able to return to Patten Towers "much sooner" than the projected 6-8 weeks to fix the main electrical box.

She said when the firm bought the property at 11th and Market last July, it was informed that the only updates needed were about $1,500 worth of electrical work.

Ms. McClain-Bankhead said the owner of the firm is planning to make a substantial donation to the Salvation Army and Red Cross, which have been tending to the needs of the residents since the sudden exodus.

Officials said there have been 600 medical calls and 150 mental health calls to the shelters.

Mayor Andy Berke noted that a vet was even summoned to tend to two ailing cats.

He said the community had come together to meet the need, but he said it was time for the management firm to step up and shoulder the burden. 

There will be continued attention to the medical needs of the residents, with medical and social services teams visiting them, it was stated.

Waiting for the bus
Waiting for the bus

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