Mulberry apartment building slipping into phosphate pit

Time and patience seem to be running short in Mulberry. Rick Johnson, the city manager, says the city is getting closer to taking drastic action if the owner of an apartment building doesn't correct a bad situation.

The land behind a four unit apartment building on Diesel Rd., just off State Road 60, is eroding into a former phosphate pit turned lake. There is no backyard left, and the land has slipped away under the back patio.

A spokesman for the owner says they have spent $40,000 so far bringing in rock and big chunks of concrete to shore up and stabilize the place. Michael Schmidt of Lyons Construction and Engineering says it's safe for people to live there.

The city disagrees. Its engineer has issued a report outlining further work that has to be done.

"We feel like the building owner has to move quickly to make the repairs or we will be moving quickly towards condemnation," said Johnson on Thursday.

There is only one tenant left in the building. As other tenants moved out, the city refused to provide water to those units so that new people could not move in.